Tower Hamlets have come up with a cunning plan to keep da kidz out of trouble; bribing them with vouchers for "positive activities" like rock climbing and drama (um, enhancing escape from trouble and lying confidently skills?) to the value of £40 a month.
About 2000 young people are eligible for the scheme, called Choice and Opportunities On-Line or (get ready for this terrible acronym) COO-L, including those local 12-17 year olds in care, on free school meals or with special needs. It sounds like a Good Thing.
Other London boroughs should watch this scheme's progress with interest because if, as reported today in the Times and commented on over here and here, the government really are going to make businesses employing teenagers shell out for additional CRB checks to protect the delicate youths paid to wash the dishes or stack shelves for pocket money, then there are going to be far more kids on the streets needing "positive activity" come the school holidays when their summer jobs all suddenly disappear.
Image courtesy of williamhartz's Flickrstream