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Britain’s Bad News

John on July 10, 2009 at 12:25 am

Where do I begin. I guess with this:

A multi-million pound initiative to reduce teenage pregnancies more than doubled the number of girls conceiving.

The Government-backed scheme tried to persuade teenage girls not to get pregnant by handing out condoms and teaching them about sex.

But research funded by the Department of Health shows that young women who attended the programme, at a cost of £2,500 each, were ‘significantly’ more likely to become pregnant than those on other youth programmes who were not given contraception and sex advice.

A total of 16 per cent of those on the Young People’s Development Programme conceived compared with just 6 per cent in other programmes.

Experts said the scheme failed because it introduced girls ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant to promiscuous girls they might not otherwise have met.

Because of peer pressure, the more timid teenagers were more likely to have sex and become pregnant.

The £5.9million YPDP programme was also designed to slash cannabis use and drunkenness among teenagers, but made no difference whatsoever.

Last night ministers pledged to drop the scheme after admitting it had failed. Around 40,000 teenage girls become pregnant every year in the UK, the highest level in western Europe.

The article goes on to note that the program was based on a similar one in New York which “claimed to have significantly reduced teenage pregnancies. However, attempts to replicate the work elsewhere in the U.S. did not lead to a fall in teenage pregnancies, casting doubt on the project as a whole.”

But it only gets worse from there:

Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa – widely considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries.

[...]

In the UK, there are 2,034 offences per 100,000 people, way ahead of second-placed Austria with a rate of 1,677.

The U.S. has a violence rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, Canada 935, Australia 92 and South Africa 1,609.

Of course the numbers are a bit deceiving:

While the UK ranks above South Africa for all violent crime, South Africans suffer more than 20,000 murders each year – compared with Britain’s 921 in 2007.

Still, the comparison to South Africa is hardly apples to apples. South Africa has a unique recent history that explains much of this high murder rate.

In any case, things are not going so well in merry olde England. In particular, there is a problem with crime among teens, so called Hoodies, who make the news every time a group of them beats someone in the street.

What’s going on over there?

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Category: Crime & the Law, Foreign Affairs |

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