Gateshead Youth Offending Team work hard to ensure young people who are at risk of entering the Criminal Justice System benefit from a wide range of youth crime prevention programmes. An assessment is undertaken with the young person and family and where it is felt appropriate youth crime prevention intervention is offered alongside referrals to partners to address specific issues, for example substance misuse, parenting support and mental health.
- Youth Caution is a statutory out-of-court disposal which replaced Final Warnings and Reprimands in April 2013. Young people may be offered a Youth Caution by the police, and then referred to the YOT for assessment and - if appropriate – the YOT will deliver a voluntary rehabilitation programme. An adult must be present when a young person under 17 is given a Youth Caution.
- Youth Conditional Cautions as above; can be given to a young person even if they have been charged with a previous offence. A young person must be referred to the YOT for assessment, and the police and the youth offending team must jointly agree suitable conditions and interventions to be attached to the Youth Conditional Caution.
- We also operate a Triage system where young people are referred to Gateshead YOT from the Police for preventative assessment and work.
Youth cautions and Conditional Cautions on the CPS website
A number of different sentences are available to courts when sentencing an offender aged 10-17. These aim to address the offending behaviour of the young person and allow them to make up for the harm caused to the community:
- Discharge - absolute or conditional - these are the same as those available for adult offenders.
- Fine - the fine should reflect the offence committed and the young person’s ability to pay. For offenders under 16, the payment of a fine is the responsibility of a parent/guardian and it will be their financial circumstances taken into account when setting the level of the fine.
- Referral Order - a referral order can be imposed for a first time young offender who has pleaded guilty. The offender will be required to attend a youth offender panel (made up of two members of the local community and an advisor from a youth offending team) and agree a contract, containing certain commitments, which will last between three months and a year.
- Youth Rehabilitation Order - The youth rehabilitation order is a community sentence within which a court may impose one or more of 18 different requirements that the offender must comply with for a period of up to three years. The requirements can include curfew, supervision and education requirements.
- Custodial Sentences - a custodial sentence will only be imposed in the most serious cases. The type of custodial sentence available depends upon the court the offender is being sentenced in.
- Parenting Orders – allows the YOT to enter into a contract or apply for an order where a child is involved in anti-social behaviour.
Youth Court Orders on the Ministry of justice website
Going to Court – A booklet for children and young people who are going to court