Reduction in number of local young people entering the youth justice system


Councillors will be asked to endorse the Youth Justice Plan for the Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service at the next cabinet meeting on 23 June. The overall priority of the plan will be to support the Youth Justice Service to reduce the risks associated with youth offending.

The Youth Justice Plan provides information on the performance of the Dorset Combined Youth Offending Justice Service annually and the key priorities for 2021/2022 and measures service performance against three key performance indicators.

The first indicator shows the rate of young people entering the justice system for the first time. The latest national data, relating to the 12 months to December 2019, shows a combined pan-Dorset rate of 251 per 100,000 10-17 year olds entering the justice system for the first time. This compares with a figure of 344 per 100,000 10-17 year olds in the year to December 2018. Local data shows a further reduction in first-time entrants in the BCP Council area in the year to March 2021.

The second indicator looks at reoffending. The local reoffending rate has for the most part remained below the national rate.

The third indicator shows the number of 10-17 year-olds who have received custodial sentences with numbers continuing to be low in comparison to the regional and national average.

Councillor Mike White, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families Services, said:

“We welcome the latest results in the draft Youth Justice plan. Our priority is to offer the best support to young people to prevent and reduce the number of offences committed locally. The plan plays a really important part in helping us to identify and fully understand the issues so that we can work with our young people as effectively as possible in order to help them in their future prospects.”

The service is already working on actions identified in the plan, including reducing first time entrants into the youth justice system and focusing on supporting young people to access community health services.