A plan setting out the priorities for the city’s youth justice service and reviewing the previous year’s performance is to be presented to cabinet.
Birmingham has the lowest re-offending rate of all core cities, with an average of 0.92 re-offences, and is below the national average of 1.14.
The Birmingham Youth Justice Plan 2015/16 shows that the city is maintaining good performance against the three national youth justice indicators: reducing first time entrants; reducing re-offending; reducing the use of custody.
Key findings include:
• For the year to 31 March 2015 there were 936 offenders, compared to 1,006 the previous year (a reduction of 6.96 %). The number of offences reduced from 2,099 to 2,000.
• During 2014/15 the youth offending service worked with 1,515 young people on court-ordered and pre-court programmes, 677 (44.69 %) of whom were existing clients. This compares to the service working with 1,649 people the previous year, 862 (52.27 %) of whom were existing clients.
• The number of offences of violence against the person has risen by 9.2 % and there has been a reduction in offences of theft and handling stolen goods (8.8 %), robbery (41.7 %) and motoring offences (11.9 %).
• A total of 59 young people were remanded to the secure estate between April 2014 and March 2015, resulting in 3817 remand bed nights. This was a fall in the number of young people from 71 remanded in 2013/14, but a rise in the length of the remands.
• The service offered restorative justice to 398 victims, which was taken up by 203. There were high levels of feedback from victims and 100 % said they were satisfied with the service.
Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Birmingham Youth Offending Service is the largest of its kind in the country and one of the most complex, and it has been a really good service for some time now, having developed a strong focus on intervention with families in order to change behaviour.
“However, we know we can be even better and this plan will help us achieve that. We want to not only to reduce re-offending, but to stop young people going into the justice system in the first place.
“We want to reduce criminalisation of young people and this is about changing behaviour and how behaviour is dealt with. This plan will ensure young people, including those who are particularly vulnerable, get the support they need to avoid the youth justice system and have opportunities to turn their lives around. However, a real concern is that nationally there will be big cuts next year that will affect high-level preventative programmes which means there is a real threat to the good work we are doing and the futures of our young people.”
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