Early intervention key to tackling youth offending – GM Mayor

We must work with our young people to break the cycle of offending, Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

Tony Lloyd was speaking as the Sentencing Council publishes new guidelines encouraging judges and magistrates to consider the background and circumstances of each child and young person when sentencing.

“This guidance is welcome so long as we all work to ensure the over-arching aim is about stopping the cycle of offending. Early intervention when young people take the first steps in breaking the law is more effective in stopping criminal behaviour than ever more penal sanctions later and late response means many more victims of crime. Our youth justice system must be focussed on rehabilitation, where possible and appropriate, with sentences recognising the background of young offenders and putting steps in place to help them address the reasons for their criminality and keep them out of prison,” says Tony.

“This is our ambition in Greater Manchester. As part of our wider transformation of justice and rehabilitation, we have refocused our approach to youth justice, putting the overall needs of young people at the heart. This has halved the number of young people going into custody and is a result of strong partnership working, bringing all criminal justice agencies together for a common goal – to stop the conveyor belt to prison and give our children and young people the best start in life.”