New workshops to help steer Hartlepool young people away from crime after area gets slice of £22million funding

Professionals are to be given new training to help understand why young people turn to crime after the office of Cleveland’s crime commissioner secured government funding.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 23rd September 2019, 7:07 pm
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger. Picture by FRANK REID

Training workshops will help officials who work with young people at risk of offending to recognise those who have experienced stressful childhood events called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), like domestic abuse, parental separation, abuse, neglect or growing up with a parent in prison.

And it will help ensure professionals know how to take action to prevent them entering the criminal justice system.

The workshops form part of Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger’s pledge to reduce serious violence across Cleveland, after his office secured an investment of £546,000 from the Home Office’s Early Intervention Youth Fund.

In autumn last year, the Government established the £22million fund.

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Mr Coppinger said: “Our strategy to reduce serious violence in Cleveland has four key elements: prevention, early intervention, targeted intervention and diversion.

“This training plays a vital role in helping to prevent young people from entering the world of crime and offending, by understanding why the difficult situations they faced in childhood – through no fault of their own - might impact on their behaviour today.

“A range of professionals working with young people will have access to the training, although priority will be shown to foster carers, staff from children’s homes, pupil referral units and community-based youth services.

“By better understanding the driving factors behind criminal behaviour, we have a better chance of intervening at an early stage and creating safer communities free from serious violence.”

Prevention and early intervention will be key themes in the new Tees Violence Prevention Strategy, which is currently under development and will be published in March 2020.

Any professionals interested in taking part in an ACEs training session can contact Tees Violence Prevention Project Manager Simon Smart on simon.smart2@cleveland.pnn.police.uk.

The training workshops follow a new initiative which means first time offenders aged 18-24 have the opportunity to avoid a criminal record with a deferred prosecution scheme.

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Serious violence in our communities needs urgent solution - PCC Barry Coppinger