Issue - meetings

Youth Justice Plan 2021-2022

Meeting: 09/09/2021 - Cabinet (Item 4)

4 Warwickshire Youth Justice Plan 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

This report seeks endorsement of the Warwickshire Youth Justice Plan 2021/22 prior to approval by Council.


Cabinet Portfolio Holder – Councillor Jeff Morgan

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Councillor Jeff Morgan (Portfolio Holder for Children, Families and Education) explained that the Youth Justice Service exists to help young people who have become involved with the criminal system. It is important to remember that these are young people first and criminals second. The Council is required to annually submit a service plan. This should set out the principles agreed with partners. Warwickshire’s Youth Justice Service is rated highly. At one time its performance was well ahead of that of its statistical neighbours. Now those neighbours are catching up although this may be because they have been copying the techniques used in Warwickshire and have improved correspondingly. Councillor Peter Butlin agreed that Warwickshire is used as a benchmark by others.


Councillor Jeff Morgan closed stating that the Fire and Rescue Service operates a citizenship course that targets young people who may be on the verge of becoming involved with crime.




That Cabinet supports and recommends to Council the Warwickshire Youth Justice Plan.

Meeting: 20/07/2021 - Children & Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 4)

4 Youth Justice Plan 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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The Chair welcomed John Coleman (Assistant Director, Children and Families) and Sally Nash (Service Manager, Youth Justice) to the meeting.


Sally Nash opened by explaining that whilst the presentation of the Youth Justice Plan to committee is a routine matter it is also of importance. Youth Justice is enshrined in statute and it is a condition of the Youth Justice Board that in order for Youth Justice Services to receive their funding they must produce an annual plan. The plan must be acceptable to the Board and demonstrate compatibility to the Council’s corporate aims and objectives. The plan is owned by the Youth Justice Partnership and by the Chief Officer Board. The overall objectives of the Youth Justice Service are to provide the safest environment as possible and to help young people to be as safe as possible. Youth offending is not a popular topic. Nevertheless, the service has the confidence of the courts and has been able to continue to maintain contact with the courts and young people throughout the Pandemic.


The committee was informed of a number of challenges.


1) Serious youth violence   Serious youth violence has grown. It now serves as a golden thread through the work of the Safer Warwickshire Partnership. The overall level of youth violence has not escalated although there have been a number of high-profile cases.


2) Engagement by young people in education, training and employment   The Pandemic has had a serious negative impact on vulnerable young people. School age children who do not have proactive parents have fallen behind on their education. It has been found necessary to realign resources to secure specialist support for these young people.


Whilst case-loads through courts have dropped owing to the Pandemic case loads generally have remained static.


Councillor Jill Simpson-Vince asked about out of court disposals. These were first time appearances but is it a case of “three strikes and you’re in court”? How many of the first offenders are likely to be seen again?


In response the committee was informed that out of court disposal is a multi-agency approach. Decisions regarding when a young person should be required to attend court rest with the police. With Youth Conditional Cautions if a young person does not comply then they will be required to attend court. It was stressed that out of court disposals are a serious sanction. It is not a case of young people “getting away with it” but the aim of the legislation is to keep children out of the court system. Sometimes children do come back into the system, but it remains preferable to manage them away from the courts if possible.


Councillor Marian Humphries welcomed that children are put first adding that it is important to identify and address the reasons behind a child’s behaviour. In response Sally Nash reminded members that these young people are children first and offenders second. There are no excuses for bad behaviour, but it should be recognised that they are children. School, she added, teach  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4