What is the Youth Offending Service?

Southend Youth Offending Service (YOS) was formed in 2000, in line with the Crime & Disorder Act (1998). The Youth Offending Service is a statutory agency that utilises a multi-disciplinary staff base including practitioners from the Probation Service, Health, Police, Education, substance misuse services and draws upon the skills of volunteers who provide a key ingredient to restorative justice. Southend Youth Offending Service aims to prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people between the ages of 10- 17 years. We work with children and young people who have been made subject to court orders and also offer interventions to young people who have been offered out of court disposals, such as Community Resolutions, Youth Cautions or Youth Conditional Cautions. Southend Youth Offending Service offers an extensive range of projects designed to meet the ever[1]changing needs of local children, young people and their families. Every young person will receive child[1]friendly interventions, benefit from an integrated service that ensures young people are safeguarded and assisted to reintegrate back into their local communities. The intervention programmes used are based on restorative justice principles, encouraging the offender to recognise the impact that their criminal behaviour has had on their victims, on themselves, on their family, and on their community. The Restorative approach operates in partnership with Essex Police, and victims of the crimes committed are also directly involved where possible. Southend YOS achieves high levels of victim participation, which leads to better outcomes for both the young person who has offended and for the victim themselves.

What support does the Youth Offending Service Offer?

Southend YOS supports young people to change their behaviour by:

  • Working with young people to develop positive relationships, increase levels of personal responsibility and make positive choices.
  • Recognising and developing young people’s individual strengths, and believing in their capacity to change.
  • Working with families, communities and other professionals to build networks of support; and
  • Encouraging young people to understand the impact their behaviour has on victims, families, communities and themselves.

A wide range of interventions and programmes have been developed to help young people move away from offending by focusing on pro-social behaviours, managing emotions and providing alternative strategies for dealing with difficult or challenging situations. Young people are also encouraged to access support with substance use, education, mental and physical health or communication difficulties.

Roles within Youth Offending

YOS Case Managers will undertake a comprehensive assessment of each young person and their family, highlighting factors that increase or decrease the young person’s risk of further offending, risk of harm and safety and wellbeing, by identifying risks and positive factors in their lifestyle and current circumstances. This approach enables the practitioners to tailor the supervision to meet the needs of the young person, delivering effective interventions and making appropriate referrals to external agencies and partners. YOS staff undertake work in the courts, sharing information with Magistrates and Crown Court Judges, submitting reports that outline the assessment of risk, personal circumstances and proposing sentencing options that are appropriate to the needs and risks of the offender and proportionate to the offence. The YOS Victim Worker meets with victims of young people who are subject to supervision by the Youth Offending Service. A Restorative Justice approach enables victims to have their say and receive answers to questions they may want to ask whilst allowing young people the chance to repair the harm they have caused. One way of repairing the harm is by the use of reparation. Our Reparation projects provide young people with either the opportunity to pay back to the victim directly or the wider community by undertaking unpaid work, whilst also developing new skills and in some cases working towards a qualification that can increase motivation and improve life chances. Such opportunities are assisting the elderly, undertaking community projects, volunteering in charitable organisations and completing horticulture projects in partnership with Southend Parks Dept.

Neighbour Disputes

Not all complaints about anti-social behaviour will go as far as legal action. Many are resolved by talking through the problem with those responsible or by involving another agency.

In some cases, issues can arise from a clash of lifestyles, miscommunication between neighbours, and often people don’t realise that they are causing a problem

Anti-social behaviour can impact upon individuals, families and communities. It can make life unpleasant and create an environment where serious crime can take hold.

We may recommend you consider mediation for the following type of issues:

  • actions that are likely to be considered normal everyday activities or household noise;
  • actions which amount to people generally being unpleasant to each other;

For more information on mediation that we can offer referrals for, please visit the Essex Restorative and Mediation Service www.restorativeessex.co.uk

Once we receive your complaint, we will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days
  • allocate your case to a Community Safety Officer to investigate and provide you with updates as the case progresses
  • utilise relevant tools to investigate including the use of “The Noise App” - https://www.thenoiseapp.com
  • provide advice and / or enforce where appropriate in line with Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014
  • reach an outcome to the investigation in line with our process on anti-social behaviour cases

To make a report of Anti Social Behaviour please complete our online form