‘Encouraging and positive’ work hailed as youth crime rates remain below national average
Nottinghamshire County Council has highlighted the ‘encouraging and positive’ work being carried out to prevent young people from committing crimes and reoffending.
Figures published as part of the Youth Justice Service Strategy Review 2021/22 show the county continues to perform better than the national average, with the number of first-time offenders reducing by 14 per cent – the third successive year there has been a decrease.
Nottinghamshire’s rate of 147 first time offenders per 100,000 10 to 17 year olds compares favourably to figures of 224 per 100,000 nationally.
Meanwhile, rates of children and young people reoffending have also fallen and remain below national statistics – while the number spending time in custody has ‘significantly’ reduced.
The strategy reveals the county’s Youth Justice Service (YJS) is fulfilling its main functions, which are to:
- reduce the number of young people entering the criminal justice system;
- reduce the frequency and rate of children and young people from reoffending;
- keep the numbers of young people experiencing custody to a minimum.
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Chairman of the Children’s and Young People’s Committee, said: “In all these three measures, our Youth Justice Service is performing better than the national average, is improving year on year and generally improving at a faster rate than statistical neighbours.
“The report shows that the service continues to strive to do even better for the children and young people of Nottinghamshire.
“The Youth Justice Strategy is a three-year plan in which we are in year one.
“It details the priorities for service development which are to promote a holistic approach to meeting young people’s needs, to increase the number of young people accessing early intervention, to strive for every young person in contact with the service to have education, training and employment and also to improve the resettlement offer for young people leaving custody.
“At the heart of the strategy are plans for robust consultation processes to enable young people and their parents and carers to have an opportunity to shape Nottinghamshire Youth Justice Service.
“This strategy is the work of officers and partners and I thank them for that. They are the people who work with young people every day.
“The partnership is working hard on prevention and diversion, which are key to stopping young people from entering the criminal justice system.”
The county council has a ‘proud’ record of working collaboratively to stop young people getting involved in crime and entering the youth justice system, with key factors in securing the best outcomes for them including:
- ensuring every young person in contact with the Youth Justice System has the appropriate education, training and employment provision in place;
- ensuring their health needs are met and transitioned into adult services;
- offering work, mentoring and activities to help them build on their strengths to help them be safe from exploitation and to make positive choices for their future;
- making sure they have the best available support to them on leaving custody.
The YJS also demonstrates Nottinghamshire’s commitment to young people by involving them and their parents in how the service is run, giving them an opportunity to shape its future and ultimately improve it.
One mother, who is quoted in the strategy, praised the work carried out with her son at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “He seems more grown up, is not losing his temper and not lashing out. Brilliant communication, I couldn’t ask for a better team and although it has been remote, it has been positive. Thank you.”
The report was approved by the county council at a recent Full Council meeting.
Photo courtesy of Ian Dearman Media.