Hartlepool Youth Offending Service (YOS) introduced a triage programme, which brings youth offending team expertise to assist the police in decision-making at the earliest stage.
Triage takes place at the point where a young person comes to the attention of the police. It acts as a gateway so young people can be rapidly assessed to ensure they are dealt with quickly and effectively.
Information can be shared between the YOS and police to ensure decisions are made to reflect the needs of the victim young person and community.
Bespoke support packages are tailored to meet the needs of the young person. When required, other support services can be accessed.
Young people, who agree to engage with triage, will not be prosecuted for offending and there will be no further police action taken against them. They are, however, required to complete the actions detailed in their Intervention Plan.
Triage has had a significant impact on first time entrant rates in Hartlepool. It has allowed the YOS to intervene far earlier to divert children and young people away from the criminal justice system and into support services for themselves and their families.
It has also had a positive impact on re-offending rates in Hartlepool. In 2011, the programme reported a 21% re-offending rate for young people engaged in triage interventions.
This is lower than the re-offending rates for reprimands and final warnings in both South Tees and Stockton.
South Tees and Stockton YOS developed triage in summer 2013 with the aim of achieving similar reductions in first time entrants to the criminal justice system and re-offending rates as Hartlepool.
Triage is not a statutory function of YOS. Therefore, funding is required to support this ongoing activity and to roll it out across Cleveland.
The PCC is asked to provide Crime and Disorder Reduction Grant of up to £200K to deliver these outcomes.