Youth offending service

On this web page you will find information regarding Northumberland's Youth offending service.

The Northumberland Youth Offending Service Works with young people aged between 8 and 17 years old who have offended or are at risk of offending. The Services main aims are to stop offending and prevent Re-offending.

The Service does this by:

  • Making sure young people who offend are dealt with as soon as possible.
  • Giving information to the Courts to help them make the best decision they can to prevent offending.
  • Providing interventions which tackle the particular factors which put a young person at risk of offending
  • Make sure young people understand how their behaviour affects other people especially their victims.
  • Giving young people who offend a chance to put things right by working for their victim or the community.
  • Reinforcing the responsibly of parents and carers
  • Providing high quality youth justice services for young people in all communities in Northumberland.

The vision of Northumberland Youth Offending Service is to prevent offending by young people in the County through joint work with our partners, to deal effectively with the causes of offending, to improve outcomes for young people and help them live crime free lives.

The service also recognises its responsibilities towards the families of young people, victims and local communities and will ensure its approach is balanced to take account of the impact of youth crime on those directly affected. Our work is based on a belief that children and young people can change through a multi agency response which reflects the diverse needs of individuals and communities. We are committed to protecting the public by balancing needs of children and young people with the rights of victims and the wider community.

Northumberland Youth Offending Service is currently graded as “performing excellently” by the Youth Justice Board.

The 2 Key Targets of the Service are to prevent offending and Re-offending.

Current Data Shows:

We have achieved a 4.2% reduction in re-offending against the baseline set in 2005. The overall aim is to reduce re-offending by 10% by 2010/11 Based on the 2005 baseline

The number of First Time Entrants into the Youth Justice System has reduced by 26.4% since 2005

Other targets of the service include:

  • Reducing the use of Custody.
  • Ensuring that young people involved with the service are in full time Education Training Employment.
  • Ensuring young people involved with the service are in suitable accommodation.
  • Ensuring that parents of young people involved are receiving support.
  • Ensuring all Young People open to the service are assessed in relation to substance misuse and receive intervention if required.
  • Ensuring all young people with both acute and non acute mental health concerns are assessed by the service and referred for treatment where appropriate.

The service effectively targets high risk offenders as part of the Governments Prolific & Priority Offender strategy. Latest figures in relation to a group of young people being tracked as part of the deter strand show an 80% reduction in frequency and a 40% reduction in the seriousness of offending within this group. Northumberland has also seen a fall in the number of offences committed by young people by 17% since 2007.

Organisational Delivery

The service is overseen by a Partnership Board which sets our strategic direction and monitors our progress and performance. The YOS is based in Ashington and delivers a service throughout Northumberland.

It is staffed by approximately 65 full and part time staff drawn from Social Care and Health, Probation, Police, Education, Connexions and other statutory and voluntary agencies. Delivery of the service is through 4 Functional Teams: Prevention, Early Interventions, Case Management and Court Services. In addition 4 sub Teams form part of the service: Parenting, Intensive Supervision & Surveillance Programme, Family Intervention Programme and Victim Liaison.

The Youth Offending Service is made up of staff from a range of Professional Backgrounds.

  • Qualified Social Workers
  • Probation officers
  • Specialist Education workers
  • Substance Misuse workers
  • Connexions Personal advisers
  • Youth workers
  • Health workers
  • Parenting Works
  • Victim workers
  • Dedicated Support staff

Northumberland Youth Offending Service
2 Armstrong Way
North Seaton Industrial Estate
NE63 0YD
Telephone: 01670 852225
Fax: 01670 854193

There are a number of Court Orders which will require a young person to make amends for the harm or damage they have caused. This is referred to as ‘reparation’.

Reparation is designed to help young offenders understand the consequences of their offending and to take responsibility for their behaviour.

Ideally, reparation work will relate directly to the offence and the person most affected by it. For example if a fence was damaged or used for graffiti, the Young Person would repair the damaged fence.

Sometimes, you may not want this to happen or the damage may not be so easily repaired. In these circumstances, the Youth Offending Service will arrange for the young person to do reparation work in the community

Some of the types of work carried out by young people are:

Graffiti Removal
  • Painting/decorating
  • Litter collection
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning
  • Tree Planting
  • Bulb Planting
  • Graffiti removal

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

The Fire Station is a positive place for Young People to do their Reparation. The Fire fighters normally like to talk to the Young

People we take there, this helps engage the Young Person in the work that they’re doing. This can be especially helpful if the Young Person has shown a lack of understanding about any of the Uniformed Services.

Cleaning Northumberland’s Beaches

Northumberland’s coastline is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, the beach gets a lot of use, especially in summer and during school holidays. Litter is either left or is washed up on the shoreline. We would normally have one or two Young People out picking at a time along with a supervisor from the Youth Offending Service. Each session will last for 3 hours and we often get more than 5 full black bags of litter picked from the beach and the surrounding areas. We cover quite a big area so a good amount of exercise is involved. This work can sometimes go unnoticed as people expect the beach to be clean but it’s surprising to see the difference it makes.

Community Centres

Reparation can take place at a number of Community Centres within the County each providing there own tasks and duties.

Amble Boy’s Club

  • Painting the interior of the building, including the 5 a side court
  • Weeding and tidying the gardens

Briardale Centre

  • Painting, both internal and external
  • Litter picking around the site
  • Cleaning of communal areas
  • Gardening
  • Waiting/Waitressing

Hexham Community Centre

  • Hoovering
  • General Cleaning
  • Painting

The Isabella

  • Thinning of trees
  • Clearing pathways
  • Litter picking
  • Crown lifting

Hirst Miner’s Welfare Centre, Allotment

The Allotment is a very positive placement for Young People to attend. It is now in its second year after being well established in 2009. The vegetables need planting and caring for whilst they grow. When it comes to harvesting time, the vegetables are picked and given away to local care homes. Some are kept to cook at an end of season BBQ. Other tasks are involved throughout the year and parts of the allotment are still being built as well as maintenance of the shed, poly-tunnel, and greenhouse and raised beds.

Queen Elizabeth 2 High School, Hexham

The QE2 is mainly an outdoor placement, the majority of tasks

being clearing pathways and gardening. We will also do other tasks as required by the School. Last year, we cleared a large amount of leaves which had fallen during autumn and had gathered on the roads, pathways and amongst the bushes and shrubs. The work vastly improves the appearance of the grounds and is essential given the amount of leaves that fall during autumn. Other work is carried out at the request of the Caretaker

Blyth Valley Council Housing

Blyth Valley Council occasionally has properties that need tidying for tenants or before new tenants move in. These placements come up from time to time and can give quite a bit of work when they do. Normally it involves clearing gardens of items left from previous tenants or clearing foliage. Although this work may be unseen by the community, it can give some tenants, especially more elderly tenants, their garden back

Woodhorn Colliery Museum

The Woodhorn Colliery Museum has various tasks for Young

People to complete, both indoor and outdoor tasks are included. The majority of our work here is spent maintaining the grounds which is essential work for a monument so entrenched in local history and culture.

Ad-hoc Reparation Placements

The Youth Offending Service often runs placements at the request of a local group to undertake one-off pieces of work. Recent examples include; Painting the 5 a’ side hall at Amble Boy’s Club in preparation for it’s re-opening, removing and painting over graffiti on underpasses in Cramlington, removing and painting over graffiti on Stakeford Bridge and decorating rooms for the Child Protection Agency in Bedlington. These tasks come up from time to time but they often need completing within a certain time scale. The Victim Liaison Worker will be able to inform you of current projects or take suggestions of projects you know of which may benefit from our help.

The Youth Offending Team works together with other professionals and organisations to stop young People offending and to help their parents and carers. In order to do this the Youth Offending Team workers have to obtain information from other people or organisations and also share information about the young people we are working with. The following information should help you to understand these arrangements.

In order to give you the help you need, and also to be able to account for the work we are doing, we have to record information. This may be in the form of:

Case Notes

These may be written notes in a personal file held by your Youth Offending Team Worker. Other People working in the Youth Offending team who have contact with you may make notes in the file, for example, our Health Worker, Education Welfare Officer, Police Officer or indeed, Volunteers working with you. Also in that file will be copies of any documents relating to you such as court reports, court orders, and lists of previous convictions ect.

Computerised Records

The Youth Offending Team holds personal details on a computerised case management system. The Youth Offending Team also hold case notes on the computer. We are increasingly making use of the computer to hold our case information. The use of the computer enables the Youth Offending Team to find information about you more easily, which may be helpful to you. The computer also enables us to provide statistics to account for the work we do.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you have a right to see information held about you. If this involves disclosing information about another person normally that person will be asked for her or his permission to disclose that information.

How to see your records

To see your record you should make your request in writing to your Youth Offending Team worker or his or her team leader. Your Youth Offending Team Officer will help you writing this letter if you like. If you cannot or do not want to ask your Youth Offending Team worker or there team leader, you can ask someone else to do it on your behalf, but they must be able to produce evidence that they are acting on your behalf.

When other people need information about you

The Youth Offending Team may need to share information about you with other professionals or organisations who provide a service to you, for example your school or college, the Health Service or Housing Department. We may also need to share information about you to protect your safety or to safe guard others. This will only happen if it is considered absolutely necessary.

The Youth Offending Team may have to share information about you because of something the courts do which requires it. For example you are sent into secure accommodation or given a Detention Centre Order.

Any Professionals, Youth Offending Team members or staff who has access to information about you are bound by confidentiality laws and Professional codes of conduct.

Statistics and information may be used for audit and research purposes and to assist service planning. In all circumstances this information will be made anonymous.