Expand youth diversion activities

Understanding the impact of austerity on prevention and diversion activity, amplified more recently by growing concerns over local youth anti social behaviour, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is seeking to explore ways to expand youth diversion activities across the county.

The PCC has supported a range of initiatives throughout this term of office.

The Commissioner has supported the AFC Bournemouth ‘Own Goal’ programme, working with children and young people on the fringes of, or at risk of entering, the criminal justice system and is currently exploring broadening the project out more widely across the County.

The OPCC has been instrumental in establishing a Police Cadets Scheme for Dorset. The scheme was successfully launched in June 2019 and due to levels of demand will be expanding further later in the year.

In response to an increase in youth anti social behaviourin and around Poole bus station and the Dolphin Shopping Centre, a group was created to explore the issues that lay behind the increase and try and find some intervention strategies to help address the problem.

The PCC agreed to back both the ‘Pop-Up Youth Clubs’ and partnership Youth Justice Co-ordinator initiatives and work is ongoing to deliver these projects. The Pop-up Youth Club project started in June with sessions being held weekly and BCP and Dorset Police are now exploring the potential of a Winter Youth Club scheme in the area.

To increase training and diversionary activities on offer to first time entrants to the criminal justice system, three groups have submitted successful bids to work in partnership with the Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service (YOS) to ensure appropriate referrals are made to the projects.

Action for Children,  AIM Community (Frontier Youth Trust) and Best Training will all be  providing diversionary programmes to help mentor and train those who are in the YOS system. These programmes are due to begin the late Autumn of 2019.

Following an unsuccessful bid to the Government’s Youth Endowment Fund in 2019, the Commissioner continues to explore the scope for directly commissioning services locally with a focus on early intervention, prevention and diversion in addressing serious violent crime concerns. This work is being carried forward in conjunction with the YOS and Safe Schools and Communities Team (SSCT).

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