The “Children First” initiative

The “Children First” initiative launched on 1st January.

Its purpose is to avoid the criminalisation of child offenders and to consequently significantly reduce the likelihood of them re-offending.

Restorative Gloucestershire (RG) is proud to have been heavily involved in advising and guiding on the project which is owned by the Gloucestershire Youth support team. RG have been instrumental in putting forward the procedures for both pre and post JDP. They have also taken responsibility for training Operational Officers and PCSO’s in the new process.

The Police lead for Restorative Gloucestershire will sit on the weekly joint decision making panel (JDP) with representatives from the Youth Support Team and also the NHS.

Where possible the panel will enforce a Youth Restorative Intervention (YRI) on the youth rather than a criminalising one of either a Youth Caution or a Charge.

The YRI could involve engagement with one of the programmes run by the YST such as Alcohol and Substance Misuse, or one of the 44 Diversionary Schemes funded by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner. There will also be the option to refer the offender and the victim to Restorative Gloucestershire for a Restorative Justice outcome.