Children as young as eight could be offered support under new proposals to help crackdown on child crime in Leeds.

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Plans to help children ‘at risk’ of offending

Council bosses are looking at ways to tackle the “chaotic lifestyles” of children in a bid to reduce truancy and anti-social behaviour.

A new city-wide crime prevention strategy - which is aimed at children aged between eight and 13 - will target youngsters who are at risk of offending.

The YEP recently revealed children as young as 11 have been accused of a shocking catalogue of crimes.

Youngsters not even in their teens were charged with serious offences like fraud, theft, arson and criminal damage, possessing weapons and sex offences.

Council chiefs look poised to rubber-stamp a contract for the Youth Inclusion Commission, which could be awarded to Bramley-based Barca-Leeds, to help reduce the number of risks facing children in the city.

It aims to reduce truancy and the number of reports of children committing anti-social behaviour and offending.

Barca-Leeds could be set to work with targeted youth crime prevention teams such as Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team and Youth Offending Service if the scheme is given the green light next week.

And the Commission aims to support Leeds City Council’s vision of becoming one of the most child friendly cities in the country.

A Leeds City Council report said the Commission aims to promote healthy living through sporting opportunities and to help children to live in “safe and supportive” families.

It said: “It will support them to find alternatives to their chaotic lifestyles which may involve significant levels of truancy, offending and or anti-social behaviour, which in turn could result in poor educational attainment and hamper future employment prospects.”

Heavy snow caused chaos earlier this month Photo: Johnston Press

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