Support panels to be piloted in April

Local groups to identify young people displaying behaviour that
could lead to crime are to be piloted in 14 areas, the Youth
Justice Board chairperson Lord Warner announced last week.

The 14 “youth inclusion and support panels” will be up and running
in seven of the 10 street crime areas by April this year to prevent
eight to 13 year olds at risk of offending from getting into

Dismissing suggestions that the schemes would label young people as
criminals, Warner said many persistent young offenders’ careers
could be traced back to their early childhood experiences.

“If we can get in at that early stage of a young person’s life and
make sure everybody provides them with the help they need, we can
divert more young people from crime and the criminal justice system
more effectively.”

The panels will be made up of members of the community and a range
of agencies including social services, health, police, teachers and
YOTs. They will recommend a programme of help to get the young
person and their family into mainstream services.

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