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'Teens in trouble' shocker

SHOCK new figures reveal that Hyndburn has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Lancashire.

SHOCK new figures reveal that Hyndburn has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Lancashire.

Official statistics show that the borough's rate of teenage conception for last year was 62.4 per 1,000.

The figures released by the Office of National Statistics show that although the rate in Hyndburn has fallen over the last five years, it is still higher than the total for neighbouring boroughs such as Burnley and Rossendale.

A statement issued by the Lancashire Teenage Pregnancy Partnership pointed out that in general the United Kingdom has the highest rate of conception in Western Europe - 42.5 per 1,000 for 15 to 17 years old in England and Wales during last year.

A spokeswoman added: "Research shows that factors contributing to these rates include disadvantage, low self-esteem, poor expectations of education and employment and a lack of knowledge about sexual issues, together with mixed messages by the media.''

The partnership's county co-ordinator Wendy Stone said: "Lancashire has traditionally shown a slightly higher rate of conception than the national average.

"The latest county figure of 41.1 conceptions per 1,000 young women places Lancashire below the national average of 42.5 per cent, which is extremely encouraging.''

The partnership works with primary care trusts and education and social service professionals as well as a number of other agencies in efforts to try and reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and to support young parents.

The partnership co-ordinates three weekly step-in clinics aimed at providing sexual health information, contraception and support to under- 25s.

These are held at the Accrington Youth Information Shop on Mon-days, Wednesdays and Fridays between 3.15pm and 5pm. A further session is held at the Primetime Centre, Stourton Street, Rishton, on Mondays from 3pm to 5pm.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist