PCC ‘REBOOTs’ how Sussex Police tackle anti-social behaviour
More than 200 children aged 10-17 have now been referred into a £890,000 scheme launched by the PCC to tackle anti-social behaviour across Sussex.
For the first time in Sussex; the Police, NHS Partnership Trust, Youth Offending Service and local charities are working together to provide a referral pathway for young people who show early indicators of serious violence.
A dedicated team of youth coordinators and coaches have been recruited to work across the whole of Sussex and in just three months there have been over 200 referrals.
Now, if a vulnerable young person comes to the attention of the police, or another partner agency, stage one will see them referred into the REBOOT scheme. Once accepted, a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) will visit their home address to speak to the young person involved and their parent/guardian. This is stage two and the majority of young people referred have not surpassed this stage.
If further problems do occur, they can be referred through three other stages depending on the level of their behaviour. This will see them entered into the youth offending service and paired up with a youth coach paid for by the programme. They will actively engage the young person in activities of interest to them and move them away from the sort of behaviour they are exhibiting within the community.
Senior officers in Sussex Police have welcomed this new process. Sergeant Christopher Varrall, REBOOT progamme manager, comments: “REBOOT is very much a non-criminal, approach to diversion. It will see young people who are experiencing challenges in their life - that may lead to their involvement in criminality - being referred through a proven 5-stage protocol with the final stage set as the only enforcement element; civil injunction.
“Already the vast majority of children, after meetings with the PCSO, are not creating further problems. This approach is working.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne comments: “Too often vulnerable young people become prime targets for organised crime groups. As a result, knife crime, drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour are starting to increase.
“We cannot arrest our way out of this societal issue. We are instead looking at the bigger picture and working with partners to curb potential criminal behaviour at its early stages.
“I am committed to safeguarding young people and giving them opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have. What makes this programme unique is that it gives them the tools they need to make an informed decision on how they would like to spend their time positively and educates them on the consequences of their actions.”
For more information about the REBOOT programme click here: https://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/reboot/