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Youth pilot cuts crime

The Justice Secretary has hailed the success of a pilot project to tackle youth offending, which has seen a major reduction in crimes committed by young people.

The final report into the pilot of Whole System Approach in Aberdeen shows a marked improvement in youth offending. Youth crime was down 20% between 2008-09 and last year, and the number of youths committing crime fell by 23% since 2006-07.

The system, which is being extended to local authorities across Scotland, aims to hold young people to account for their behaviour and stop them following the wrong path into a life of crime.

Police, courts, education and social services work together to address minor offending behaviour before it becomes a major problem.

The Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, has said that the approach may now be rolled out and used to also help reverse the rise in female offending.