Scheme aids drop in youth crime in Leicestershire
A drop in youth crime in Leicestershire is being partly attributed to a scheme where offenders do community work.
The work, organised by Leicestershire Youth Offending Service, has been undertaken as part of court orders.
More than 400 young offenders have now assisted the Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People in Loughborough.
Wendy Poynton, of Leicestershire Youth Offending Service, said such projects really made a difference.
She said: "In Leicestershire, over the past four years, there's been a 25% reduction in offences committed by young people - that's actually 700 fewer offences in Leicestershire committed by young people, 700 fewer victims.
"And the real reason this project is so important is that it makes a huge contribution to reducing offending by young people."
Tasks carried out by the young offenders at the hospice include gardening and helping out at fundraising events.
One of the participants involved, Josh, said: "It's definitely made me realise that I'm lucky to be healthy and have the chance to make the choices I do and I shouldn't take them for granted and offend and waste my life away."