Funding for Bedfordshire’s youth offending team has more than halved since 2010, according to newly-revealed figured.
Over the last nine years funding has gone from £694,192 to £336,174.
And Bedford and Kempston MP Mohammad Yasin described the move as extremely short-sighted.
He said: “Cutting these vital services is not only counter-productive but fatal. The recent surge of knife violence amongst young people in our community underlines the importance of investing in services which protect and support young people, keeping them safe from the lure of gangs or from becoming involved in serious crime.
“You can’t keep the public safe on the cheap. We need to tackle the root causes underpinning violence, which is driven by the drugs market, fear of crime, lack of opportunities and adverse childhood experiences and that means investing money in the preventative services that work most closely with young people at risk of offending.”
Youth offending teams work within local authorities and help to prevent youth crime, and reoffending. However local authorities have warned that they are now under huge pressure having lost 60p in every £1 in cuts to their budgets nationally.
Bedford and Kempston mirrors the national trend with the figures revealing the Tories have slashed central government funding for youth offending teams by over half from £145million in 2010/11 to £71million in 2017/18.