Youth offending

Information on the youth justice system, who is responsible for dealing with young offenders, tackling youth offending, how you can help, what the youth offender panel is, can you join the panel, will you be trained and how much time does it require.

What is a Youth Justice Service?

The Youth Justice Service (YJS) are a multi-agency team that is coordinated by a local authority and overseen by the Youth Justice Board. They were set up following the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act with the intention of reducing the risk of young people offending and re-offending. They support children between the ages of 10 and 17.

Youth Justice Services are part of your local council and are separate from the police and the courts. They work alongside the police, probation service, health, housing and children’s services, schools and education authorities and charities and the local community.

The Youth Justice Team can get involved if a young person:

  • gets into trouble with the police or is arrested
  • is charged with a crime and has to go to court
  • is convicted of a crime and given a sentence.

What are the types of orders that a youth can receive and what help can be given to first time entrants?

There are two routes into the Youth Justice Service, and these are through the police, and through the courts.

Informal outcomes

The police can independently issue:

  • No further action: If a young person is arrested and the police do not pursue the case, this is known as taking ‘no further action’. This could happen if the police do not have enough evidence

  • Youth Caution: A Youth Caution may be given for any offence when the young person admits the offence and there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, but it is not in the public interest to prosecute. No intervention will take place, but the offence is recorded.

The diversion process:

The Youth Justice Service Diversion panel is a multi-agency meeting which is held to ensure children who have committed an offence are supported by the most appropriate agency going forward. The main aim is to assess what support is needed for a child and which agency is best to support the child going forward. This will ensure children are not open to the Youth Justice Service unless necessary.

The out-of-court disposal process:

The Youth Offending Service and the Police can also work jointly to complete an assessment and hold an out of court panel to help decide the most appropriate out-of-court disposal for a young person, where the following disposals can be delivered:

  • Community Resolution: This is the resolution of a very minor offence or anti-social behaviour incident through an informal agreement, this could include a very short period of voluntary intervention

  • Youth Conditional Caution: The Youth Conditional Caution is a formal out-of-court disposal, with compulsory intervention attached to it. A Youth Conditional Caution may be offered when a young person admits an offence, there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and when the public interest can best be served by the young person complying with suitable conditions, rather than a prosecution. The Youth Justice Service must assess the young person and advise on appropriate conditions. The young person must also agree to accept the Youth Conditional Caution and the conditions attached. Failure to comply with the conditions can result in prosecution to court for the original offence. This intervention should be delivered for up to 16 weeks.

Statutory court orders

In circumstances whereby a child has been summonsed to court for an offence, they could be sentenced to the following court orders:

Referral Orders:

A referral order is a community sentence is most commonly used by the Youth Courts when sentencing a child, particularly first-time offenders that have plead guilty to an offence. A Referral Order can last between 3-12 months. The young person will be required to attend a making it right panel whereby a contract is agreed which will outline the intervention and support that will be completed during their time with the Youth Justice Service. The Referral Order will be reviewed at 3-monthly panels and the order will start following the initial panel being held.

Youth Rehabilitation Orders:

A youth rehabilitation order (YRO) is a community sentence used for young people who have previously offended or who have not pleaded guilty to the offence. The YRO takes effect on the day that it is ordered and can run for up to three years, until the end of the longest requirement.

Detention Training Orders:

A Detention and Training Order (DTO) is a custodial sentence given by a Youth Magistrate or Crown Court for people aged 12-17 years. A DTO is used when young people commit a serious offence or a number of offences. It is classed as a conviction and recorded on the Police National Computer.

Absolute or conditional discharges

Fines may be imposed by the court and for offenders under 16, paying the fine is the responsibility of a parent/guardian.

Reparation and repairing the harm:

Reparation is the act of repairing harm and if there is a victim of a crime committed, young people open to the Youth Justice Service will have a reparation requirement as part of their order. This may include writing a letter of apology to the victim or engaging in community projects to give back to the community in which the harm was caused.

How do we tackle youth offending in the East Riding?

The East Riding Youth Justice Team is a multi-agency service, consisting of staff from Humberside Police, the National Probation Service, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). The team consists of both Out of Court and Court practitioners who deliver the direct work to children across the local area.

Youth Justice Teams form part of the Youth Justice System in England and Wales, which also comprises of the Police, Youth Courts, and the institutions where young people are held in custody. The Youth Justice System has an aim to prevent youth offending and provide the best outcomes for children.

Young people who offend are systematically assessed, supported and directed to change their behaviour, they are appropriately punished and encouraged to compensate the victims of crimes. East Riding Youth Justice Service works closely with services within the council, and local charities to deliver interventions to children and young people. The service also works closely with partners to set up community projects in each locality where children can engage in reparation as a way of giving back to the community and/or direct victim(s).

How are the victims of crime’s voices heard and included throughout Youth Justice processes? What support can be offered?

Every victim of a youth offender will be contacted by the Restorative Justice Officer from the Youth Justice Service (YJS).

This will first be by telephone contact or at the victims request, a home visit. The Restorative Justice Officer will obtain the victims views about the offence and the harm done. These views will then be delivered in Diversion and Out of Court Disposal panels to inform all professionals.

They also ask how the harm can be put right, and if possible deliver this through letters of apology or face-to-face meetings, or arranging direct or indirect reparation work which is supervised by the YJS case worker. Throughout the order the Restorative Justice Officer is available for help and advice and when requested by the victim will update on any changes. If specialist support or advice is needed the victims are informed of help they can access, such as victim support.

How can I help the youth offending team in their work?

Referral Order panel

If sentenced to a referral order an offender will be referred to a Making it Right panel, which involves volunteer members of the community, carers, parents, victims and the young offender, agreeing a plan of action in the form of a 'contract' to repair the harm done to the victim and to prevent any future offending. They ensure young offenders take responsibility for their behaviour by giving victims a chance to say how committing the offence has affected them.

How to join

We need panel members who can represent their local community, that means anyone 18 or over, from every ethnic and social background who are good at listening and talking can apply.

To apply to become a panel member, contact Youth Justice Service on (01482) 396623 or email:


We don’t expect people to have all the skills necessary to be a panel member from the start. We will provide both initial and regular training once you become a panel member.


  • To be able to dedicate about 2-3 hours a week, approximately 20-40 weeks of the year, to the panel.
  • To partake in a pre-meeting with the YJS Practitioner to discuss recommendations within the panel report and gain an understanding.
  • To obtain an understanding of the offence and any barriers or triggers that may occur during the meeting causing non engagement.
  • To work collaboratively with a fellow panel member, to chair and manage the panel meeting.
  • To ensure that both young person and parent/guardian are fully aware of what their order means, what is expected of them and what may happen if they fail to comply.
  • To be inquisitive in finding a young person’s strengths and linking these directly to successful completion of their order.
  • To ensure that the young person feels part of their order throughout the meeting by referring back to their verbatim report and also giving rationale and understanding to the conditions of their contract.
  • To agree and sign to a contract of work for the young person, holding both the YJS and young person accountable if the work is not completed without reasonable excuse.
  • To work professionally and restoratively at all times, ensuring both young person and victim’s needs are both accounted for.

Data protection and complaints procedure

Data protection

The youth offending team keeps information about you for as long as necessary in performing its statutory duties, in paper and electronic form. Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to a copy of the information held about you, subject to certain restrictions. If you wish to access this information, please contact the Youth Justice Service. Details can be found in useful contact numbers.

Complaints procedure

If you consider that you have been treated unfairly during your contact with the Youth Justice Service, you have the right to complain. You should first discuss the matter with the worker concerned or his/her manager. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, then you can contact the Youth Justice Team manager on (01482) 396623.

Useful contact numbers

Youth Justice Service

Tel: (01482) 396623

Non-emergency police

Tel: 101

Emergency Services

Tel: 999

CAMHS emergency line

Tel: (01482) 301701

CAMHS non-emergency line

Tel: (01482) 303810

Worried about the welfare of a young person?

Tel: (01482) 395500

Sexual Health Outreach

Tel: (01482) 336397

East Riding of Yorkshire Council (housing, benefits, social services, education queries, homelessness)

Tel: (01482) 393939

Crisis text line Shout

Text: 85258

Alcohol/substance misuse

Tel: (01482) 344690


Tel: 116 123

Online Safety


CEOP (online sexual abuse and exploitation)


Information on spent convictions and criminal record checks


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