The chair of the Youth Justice Board has expressed concern at the
rise of juvenile court appearances over the last decade,
writes Maria Ahmed in Liverpool.
Speaking at the Association of Chief Police Officers annual
youth justice conference, Rod Morgan said the rising numbers of
minor, low-risk young offenders being brought to court “mirrored”
the trend in adult courts.
He told delegates in Liverpool that it was a “waste of
resources” for the youth justice system and called for greater
investment in pre-court intervention work. Morgan said the trend
was a “strategically critical issue” and proposed the introduction
of prevention performance targets for Youth Offending Teams to
reduce court appearances for low-risk young offenders.
His comments came as part of a wider call to balance welfare and
justice in the Children Bill.
Morgan called for greater emphasis on early intervention to
reduce offending rates and confirmed that measures such as Youth
Inclusion Programmes and the Safer Schools Initiatives would get
He also raised concerns that Yots were not being informed about
antisocial behaviour order proceedings early enough, leaving them
unable to engage in prevention work with young offender. He said
Yots needed to undertake comprehensive assessments of needs before
any action was taken in the form of an asbo.
However, some delegates said partnership working between the
police and Yots was made difficult by conflicting performance
One police representative said the pressures to reach asbo
targets from the community and managers made it hard to plan