Other projects are more targeted, helping those young people who are beginning to fall into a life of crime. He had spent most of his teens “behind the door”. In fact, the total number of violent incidents is higher than when there were three times the number of young inmates as there are today. The use of evidence, or of any form of analysis of what actually works to reduce youth crime, always gives way – in the end – to populism. “You will never be a bricklayer or a plumber. You will never be anything.”. Reporting restrictions include not revealing the name, home address or school of any young person concerned in the proceedings, or particulars – including photographs - which may make identifying them likely. Despite all the media coverage around antisocial behaviour, knife crime and young people, we have actually seen a sharp decline in the overall number of recorded crimes committed by children. He has an insider’s bitter understanding of life in care, youth justice, drug addiction and prison. He explained how this had come about, after a history of disapproval of “smackheads” among the general prison population, for whom smoking cannabis had long been a more tolerated form of drug use. Just as with the imprisonment of adults, the criminalisation – and incarceration – of young people simply does not work. The trends in the statistics including and excluding PNDs are very similar. Youth justice annual statistics for 2018 to 2019 for England and Wales. 12 to 18 year olds effectively replace the much larger previous youth treatment centres. As with all recent crime figures, there has been a huge distortion in Britain as a result of dramatic reductions in police numbers and in the funding of the criminal justice system, including the courts, prosecutors and defence lawyers. Serious youth crime (509 kB) This inspection report reviews how the CPS handles serious youth crime and identifies recommendations, issues to address and examples of good practice. Gethin soon found himself ensnared in the criminal justice system. The Commission is consulting young people and working with academics and practitioners to better understand how serious violence manifests itself in many young people’s lives. My views on children in the criminal justice system, just as my views on the use of prison and the prohibition of drugs, do not arise from some sentimental, “soft”, liberal perspective. In England, we have been steadily moving in the same direction, as politicians respond – slavishly and without reason – to each round of media coverage of a youth “crimewave”. Robert Stewart was a “psychopathic and violent racist”, and had already been involved in killing another inmate before he was placed with Zahid, who spent the last days of his life in constant fear. Another important step for better supporting children in the criminal justice system was taken last year, when a judicially-led project called the 'Young Witness Initiative', culminated in a protocol being signed between the CPS, police and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Services to expedite cases in the courts involving a witness who is under the age of 10. Penalty Notices for Disorder . The aim is to fast-track these cases to trial, with the police to charge as soon as possible, the CPS to provide charging advice within 7 days for bail cases, the police to provide a full file within 3 weeks of the initial hearing in the magistrates' court and a provisional trial date to be set no more than 8 weeks from date of plea. “At first it was a bit of a shock to the system not having your family around, and then I got used to it,” he said. Or more? Key statistics. There is only one feature of Gethin’s life that sets him apart from the majority of other children arrested, criminalised, brutalised and institutionalised by our criminal justice system: he managed, eventually, to escape. Indeed, the evidence is clear that criminalising children just causes more crime. Perhaps readers with an above-average interest in criminal justice policy may have read the word “recidivism” with a guilty lack of enthusiasm. But surely putting children through this dystopian nightmare must “teach them a lesson”, whatever the sentence? Heroin took hold of Gethin, and was both available and, by the time he became hooked, acceptable as a form of escape in the prison environment. I have lost count of the times I have patiently and calmly used unambiguous evidence to that effect, only to be met with a shrug of the shoulders and an admonition to think of “the victim”, “protect the public” or “impose punishment”. Germany had the lowest youth unemployment rate at 7.0%. Throughout all of these waves of media and political tub-thumping about youth crime, and subsequent policies on child sentencing, one thing above all shines through: recidivism. Special measures were introduced through the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (YJCEA) 1999 and include a range of measures to support victims and witnesses (other than the accused) to give their best evidence and help reduce some of the anxiety of attending court. Years passed, and Gethin got out and went back in – much of his third decade of life was also spent inside. Zahid’s uncle, who saw him lying in a hospital bed, clinging to life, realised that there was no hope. The most terrible irony of all is that his fierce intelligence was never extinguished. He eventually managed to separate one of the table legs and, in the early hours of the very day that Zahid was due to be released, battered him to the edge of death in his sleep. Youth criminal cases are being hit by record delays, new figures reveal. He explained how this had come about, after a history of disapproval of “smackheads” among the general prison population, for whom smoking cannabis had long been a more tolerated form of drug use. One former inmate, “Jason”, spoke of his stays in seven different institutions between the ages of 14 and 17. campaigns during the subsequent year. The prison officer who made the decision to place Stewart with Zahid apparently knew nothing of the previous murder. No matter the order made against him by the courts, Gethin would breach it and go back inside. It is not a headline-grabber like “hooligan”, “thug” or “teen gangster”. There would be an uproar. 2 Youth Justice Statistics, England and Wales, April 2018 to March 2019 The Youth Justice System (YJS) in England and Wales works to prevent offending and reoffending by children. This type of court differs from adult criminal proceedings in a number of ways, for example the proceedings are designed to be less formal, the public are not permitted to enter the court and defendants are addressed by their first name. By Chris Daw, Last modified on Mon 27 Jul 2020 05.32 EDT. Coventry Youth Violence Prevention Partnership - a long term approach to empowering young people to be safe in our City. Patel’s supporters could be heard cheering on this “war on crime”. This means that children under 10 can’t be arrested or charged with a crime. The youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons…. With schools breaking up for the summer holidays, Mr Khan said he was putting £360,000 into 43 projects intended to work with 3,500 young people who are at risk of getting involved in crime. Published 30 January 2020 . She has advocated increased use of custodial sentences, aggressive police action against young people on the streets in the form of greater use of “stop and search”, and a zero-tolerance approach to cannabis possession. A youth conditional caution allows an authorised person (usually a police officer) or a relevant prosecutor (usually a member of the CPS) to decide to give a caution with one or more conditions attached. Young inmates are many times more likely to have been in the care system than other children, which surely calls out for attention to what happens in care as a top policy priority, rather than simply locking up even more care-leavers. The shameful truth is that we spend almost nothing on the sorts of services needed to support young people through the most troubled of times – to pick them up when they fall, and to provide them with the basic ingredients to enter adulthood as fully functioning members of the community, rather than as pariahs, blighted for life by the label “criminal”. The YJS is different to the adult system and is structured to address the needs of children. You could be forgiven for doing so, when politician after politician advocates a “crackdown” on “antisocial behaviour”, “gang violence”, knives and even “feral youth”. Last updated 6 November 2020 - see all updates. There were 46,265 offences in the 12 … Youth violence is a particularly pertinent issue in the United Kingdom. Spain had the highest rate of youth unemployment in April-June 2020 at 37.6%. As soon as he “graduated” to adult prison, Gethin found heroin, having never taken it “on the out”. Steve Case, author of Criminology, discusses youth crime in the UK and its perception in the media, by the general public, and by politicians. The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 years old. Tragically, in what amounts to a stain on Britain’s national life, the proportion of young ethnic minority people in custody has increased in the past decade, along with assaults, use of physical restraint and self-harm incidents. We are brutalising children on a daily basis, all in the name of getting tough on crime. Navigate to By ethnicity over time section; 4. This was the verdict of the criminal justice system on Gethin Jones, a young man barely out of his teens. In response, many elements of the news media duly oblige with copious acclamatory reports of such policies. His first conviction was at the age of 11, the result of what he describes as “erratic behaviour”. Escalating incidents of knife violence in recent years, specifically those involving young people, have led to the introduction of a mandatory custodial sentence for a first offence of threatening someone with a knife or a second offence of possessing one. information online. It just happened all the time, literally all the time.” Another young man who was sent to Isis YOI in south-east London spoke of the sort of violence that erupted there: “Someone got stabbed in the neck in the shower. The criminal justice system that judge represents – which operates on behalf of us all – is what created Gethin the child, Gethin the young offender, Gethin the addict, Gethin the adult criminal. London, SW1H 9EA. Earlier faltering steps towards a welfare-based approach to youth justice had well and truly come to an end. The county lines gangs regularly entice boys, largely from broken homes, into a life of crime with promises of money, kudos and a sense of belonging often lacking in their troubled home lives. Six long years later, Gethin had completed what he describes as his “whole rehabilitation journey”. It was very gruesome and horrifying for me to see all the blood spurting out and someone on the floor nearly dying.”. Those permitted inside the court include the usual participants in cases heard in court; ranging from officers of the court, to the parties, parents and guardians, and bona fide members of the press. The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent. And one of the most pointless and counteractive parts of the criminal justice system I have seen is the incarceration of children. There are other punishments that can be given to children under 10 who break the law. “It only stays in your system for a couple of days, whereas weed is there for weeks.” Yet another perverse manifestation of the law of unintended consequences in the criminal justice system – a generation of heroin addicts, created directly by a testing policy that had been given no real thought before it was introduced. Contents. Youth crime is increasing in the UK which begs the question whether the law is effective for the younger generations in today’s society. The Youth Court is a type of magistrates' court which deals with young people. Tell us whether you accept cookies. Gethin believes that a legal and safe supply of drugs, access to counselling, addiction services and appropriate forms of therapy would have a huge impact on young people in the criminal justice system – particularly those who have passed through the care system and experienced trauma in their lives. An inquiry into Zahid’s death heard that some of the officers at Feltham had engaged in a practice known as “gladiator” or “colosseum”, in which black or ethnic minority inmates were deliberately placed with known racists. She is also the Director of Sessions of YourStance, which she set up after feeling a sense of helplessness with the amount of young people attending the Royal London Hospital with significant injuries from serious youth violence. “It only stays in your system for a couple of days, whereas weed is there for weeks.” Yet another perverse manifestation of the law of unintended consequences in the criminal justice system – a generation of heroin addicts, created directly by a testing policy that had been given no real thought before it was introduced. Nobody noticed that, slowly but surely, Stewart was dismantling a table in his cell. In the UK the Home Office is responsible for the reduction and prevention of crime and oversees policing. 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