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Working to prevent young people from committing crime

11 March 2022

Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones has agreed a funding package to strengthen the work of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) to cut the numbers of young people committing crime.

In Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, between July 2020 and June 2021, there were 945 First Time Entrants into the Youth Justice System per 100,000 of the 10-17 year old population.

Donna Jones said: “I am committed to reducing the number of young people committing crime. We need to prevent young people from taking drugs, carrying knives and causing harm to others.

“Young people need the right support at the right time to reduce their risk of being drawn into crime, maximise their full potential, and help them live positive lives.

“Bringing children into the Youth Justice System impacts on the future prospects of these young people and can create a cycle of behaviours. We need a greater focus on working with those identified as vulnerable or at risk to tackle the causes of their behaviour and prevent issues from escalating.”

The Commissioner has agreed to invest £357,000 per year for three years from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025 to support the YOTs.  This funding will be directed at early intervention and prevention work with young people and families to support them to manage challenges they may experience including offending behaviour, emotional and mental wellbeing, substance misuse, healthy relationships, access to education and employment, housing, and income.

One of the Commissioner’s priorities in her Police and Crime Plan ‘More Police, Safer Streets’ is to prevent young people from committing crime. In addition to the YOT funding there are a variety of initiatives being supported by the Commissioner including Youth Navigators who are specially trained Youth Workers within A&E and other wards, the championing of a trauma informed approached and programmes to work with young people showing abusive behaviours in their relationships, including Adolescent to Parent Violence programmes.