Council accommodation around £24,000 a week for children linked to stabbing

Council pay for accommodation for children linked to stabbing. Picture: ARCHANT

Council pay for accommodation for children linked to stabbing. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Council bosses are paying around £24,000 a week to house three young people in “secure accommodation” after a stabbing in Cambridge.

Council bosses are paying around £24,000 a week to house three young people in "secure accommodation" after a stabbing in Cambridge.

Cambridgeshire County Council's audits and accounts committee heard on Monday (July 29) that the authority is paying around £8,000 per young person per week following an incident "at the end of May".

Service director for children and safeguarding, Lou Williams, told the meeting: "We have had a very serious and essentially rare and quite unpredictable scenario in Cambridge city at the end of May where a young person was stabbed by another young person.

"His view was that he didn't want to say to anyone who had [stabbed him]. He just wanted to get well and sort it out himself.


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"So the consequence of that was that we had to start thinking about managing that process and so we have ended up with some very high cost placements as a result, because in that scenario you're talking secure accommodation effectively which comes in at around £8,000 per child per week."

He told the meeting there were three young people in the high-cost accommodation "as a direct result of the incident".

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He said after the meeting the situation could last for around six months.

He said: "In extreme circumstances the council has to take action to protect the well-being of very vulnerable young people.

"The council uses this type of accommodation very rarely and incidents of that type are always very rare.

"Ultimately we have a safeguarding concern and we have to act appropriately."

The money will come from the Looked After Children Placements budget, which a council report to the children and young people committee on July 9 said is "forecasting a year end overspend of £350k" due to "recent activity in relation to gang related crime".

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