Youth Offending is down in Plymouth

Probably the best way to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour is by dealing with the risks known to cause youth offending, while making the most of those things known to reduce the chance of offending at an early stage.

This is the task of the Youth Offending Prevention Service  in Plymouth.

The prevention service has an important role to play in educating and supporting young people, while providing a useful and good value service.

According to the (now defunct) Audit Commission (2007), a place in a Young Offenders Institute costs more than £50,000
per year.

If early intervention had been provided for just one in ten of those young people sentenced to custody each year, public services alone could have saved more £100 million annually.

Heart has been given EXCLUSIVE access to the service.

The Secondary Inclusion Programme (SIP) provides offsite education for young people at risk from exclusion, on fixed term exclusions, or who are disengaged from education.

We talked to two youngsters going through the programme

The idea is to take time out and find out why (in most cases) the teenager is skipping lessons and not taking an active part in school.

There's a number of reasons including; fighting at home, illness, bullying, work load and not liking authority.

The bigger picture is that reasearch shows missing lessons can often lead to a life of crime with 16-year olds missing out on so much education they often leave with a reading and writing age of an 8-year old.

LISTEN HERE: Jess Mitchell co-ordinates the programme.

Heart will be looking at various aspects of Youth Offending talking to parents and those who cause trouble.

One important fact to consider is this project helped in the following:

  • Proven offences by young people in the South West fell by 17 per cent last year.
  • 2009/10 the total number of proven offences by young people in the South West was 16,343 compared to 19,776 for 08/09.

For more information: CLICK HERE

For further information and to request a referral form please contact the Team on 01752 304800.