YOUTH justice workers in the county have been praised for their successes in reducing crime among youngsters, by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.
The Warwickshire Youth Justice Service (YJS) has worked to reduce re-offending among young people and there have been substantial reductions in the numbers of first-time offenders entering the criminal justice system, according to the latest figures. End-of-year performance figures for 2018-19 show that on three key performance indicators, Warwickshire is outperforming national and regional rates.
The number of first-time entrants into the youth justice system in Warwickshire fell by 31.2 per cent in 2018-19 compared to the previous year, continuing a downward trend that had already seen figures reduced by 30.94 per cent over the previous recording period.
In Warwickshire, a young person re-offends in 27.3 per cent of cases, compared with 36.1 per cent in the West Midlands region and the national rate of 39.9 per cent. The frequency of re-offences has also fallen by a substantial 44.3 per cent, compared with West Midlands reduction rate of 16.8 per cent and 1.1 per cent nationally.
Overall, the number of young people from Warwickshire in custody remains low, with five custodial sentences imposed on four children during 2018-19. The Warwickshire custody rate per 1,000 children aged under 17 years is 0.06 per cent, compared with a West Midlands rate of 0.36 per cent and 0.31 per cent nationally.
Commenting on the performance figures, Mr Seccombe said: “There has been a real push in recent years to ensure that children and young people are diverted away from crime, so it’s really encouraging to see these latest performance figures in which Warwickshire is leading the way both regionally and nationally. It’s a credit to the hard work that has been put in by youth offending teams across the county and all of the partners involved with the Warwickshire YJS.
“It comes off the back of a recent very positive inspection report, which gave an overall rating of ‘good’ for Warwickshire YJS and found several areas of outstanding practice.
“I made a commitment in my police and crime plan to work with partners to support young people, intervene early and prevent them from causing or suffering from crime and anti-social behaviour.
“This latest good news shows that the approach being taken in Warwickshire is having real success. This is good news for all residents in Warwickshire, as the positive work of the Youth Justice Service is helping to deliver a safer community for people of all ages.”
Warwickshire YJS’s group manager, Sally Nash, said: “The work of the YJS is a real multi-disciplinary team effort and the commitment and quality has been evidenced in both our inspection and our statistical outcomes. Warwickshire can be very proud of its YJS.”