Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Early intervention could halt crime

Labour MP Graham Allen wants companies to profit from helping people lead crime-free lives

The Government should pay private firms which help steer families away from crime and into work, a report says.

Labour MP Graham Allen has unveiled his second report - Early Intervention: Smart Investment, Massive Savings - which recommends tax-free savings schemes which could be used for projects that help the poor climb the social ladder.

He and other researchers want companies to be able to profit from diverting people from paths leading to drug and alcohol abuse and into jobs, living crime-free lives.

They believe investing early will cut the cost to the state in welfare and crime in the long term.

In his report, the Nottingham North MP says: "We feel it is vital the Government now begins the groundwork to enable our late reaction culture to be transcended by an Early Intervention one.

"Our collective view is that the moment for a serious, sustained programme of Early Intervention, which is promoted inside and outside government, has arrived."

He adds: "Early Intervention investment has the potential to make massive savings in public expenditure, reduce the costs of educational underachievement, drink and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, vandalism and criminality, court and police costs, academic underachievement, lack of aspiration to work and the bills from lifetimes wasted while claiming benefits.

"Just a small part of these savings will be required to pay back public and private investors for the outcomes they will achieve.

"This payment is a necessary investment in the nation's human capital.

"In its lifetime, Early Intervention investment will not only repay all of its investors, public and private, but make enduring reductions in public expenditure."

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