A thousand fewer first time young offenders in Notts compared to ten years ago

22 September 2017

Around 1,000 fewer young people are committing an offence for the first time in Nottinghamshire compared to a decade ago.

The county has seen an 84.3 per cent drop in the number of first time offenders this year in comparison to 2007. Then, more than 1,200 young people were first time offenders compared to 200 young people last year.

Reoffending rates are equal to those nationally, at a figure of 37.9 per cent, according to Nottinghamshire County Council’s Youth Justice Strategy.

The report sets out that the county council’s Youth Offending Team’s aim is to reduce the number of young people offending, reducing the frequency and rate of reoffending, and keeping the number of young people experiencing custody to a minimum.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Our youth offending teams do not lose sight of the child at the centre of what they do in order to improve their life chances, while at the same time it cannot be forgotten that the young person has offended and has caused harm to individuals and communities through their actions. Keeping individual victims and the public safe will therefore always remain an equal priority.”

The Youth Offending Team continues to work with partners including the police and children’s social care to ensure that children are not criminalised or remanded unnecessarily, and works with partner agencies on different areas such as substance misuse, restorative justice and victim support.

Numbers of young people remanded to youth detention accommodation has again fallen and remains lower than the national average. Nottinghamshire is keen to ensure that remand is used only for those young people where the level of risk to manage them in the community is too great.

The annual Youth Justice Strategy says that working with other teams, departments and partners is key to ensuring that the best outcomes are secured for children and young people.

It says that key factors that many take for granted, such as stable and suitable accommodation, positive and enduring personal relationships, full participation in education, training or employment, feeling safe, secure and loved and a healthy lifestyle free from substances, exploitation, or unaddressed health needs drastically improve a child’s ability to integrate successfully into society and lead a law abiding and productive life as an adult.

The strategy also highlights:
• Meaningful full time engagement in education, training and employment remains one of the most significant protective factors to reduce re-offending for young people.
• Challenging the young person with the reality of the impact of their offence upon an individual victim in a supportive environment can be a very powerful way to address their offending behaviour and provides the victim with a voice and a stake in the justice system.
• The case manager works with the child as an individual to identify ways to build upon their strengths and their potential in order to identify strategies to reduce the negative factors in their life which may draw them into offending or increase the risk of harm to either themselves or the public.

The report was discussed by the County Council at its Full Council meeting yesterday (September 21).

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