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Criminals taken on theme park trip

A council has ordered a review after five young criminals enjoyed an all-expenses-paid trip to Alton Towers.

The theme park outing was part of an intensive supervision and surveillance programme (ISSP) and, according to reports, included a knife robber and burglars.

Now Wakefield Council, which was involved in the trip, has launched an investigation.

A council spokeswoman would not confirm what the people on the trip had been convicted of. However, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post, one member of the party has convictions for robbery and a history of breaching court orders, and it is claimed he had only come out of custody a week earlier.

Elaine McHale, corporate director for family services, said: "This activity was inappropriate for these young people and we have started an immediate review to identify how this decision was taken and to ensure lessons are learned.

"Although this particular activity was clearly not appropriate, the five young people on the intensive supervision and surveillance programme had made good progress and were assessed as not posing a risk to the public.

"The young people were under supervision of youth offending team officers at all times and the trip went without incident."

The total cost of the outing to the Staffordshire attraction, including entrance fees and packed lunches, came to £250, the council said.

The council added that its ISSP is one of the best nationally, with 66% of young people successfully completing the programme compared with 54% nationally.

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