The work to turn children away from crime needs to be more focused and to be evaluated better, said independent inspectors who have today published a joint report on youth crime prevention.
Many adults in the criminal justice system began offending in their childhood or early teens at a time when a number of factors made their offending more likely. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, HM Inspectorate of Probation, the Care Quality Commission and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales examined the approaches to child crime prevention, visiting seven local authorities and examining 75 individual cases where children aged 8 to 13 had been referred for interventions to prevent offending.
Inspectors confirmed that a number of factors in a child’s background can make that individual more likely to offend. The report emphasises that it is difficult to turn some of these children away from crime, but details many examples of prevention work that were having a positive impact on children’s lives.
Inspectors found impressive partnership working and considered approaches to youth crime. However, better coordination and improvement in identifying what works, both locally and nationally, is still needed.