New partnership launched

A NEW partnership called the ‘Whole System Approach’ has been launched in Angus as an effective way of working with high risk young people involved in offending.

The vast majority of young people are a credit to themselves, their parents, their schools and communities. But a small minority may become involved in offending with an even smaller minority of them causing serious problems.

The Whole System Approach will bring 16 and 17-year-olds, previously sitting in the adult system, into a process that deals with Youth Justice processes and which has proved to be highly successful in recent years. In 2009, Angus saw a drop in youth crime of 35% from the previous year, this was followed by a further reduction in 2010 of 12%.

This approach involves establishing streamlined and consistent planning, assessment and decision making processes for young people who offend, ensuring they receive the right help at the right time.

The ethos of the whole system approach suggests that many young people should be diverted from statutory measures, prosecution and custody through early intervention and robust community alternatives.

Guidance around Whole System Approach has been produced in partnership with local authorities, the Association of Directors of Social Work, Scottish Court Service, Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration, Scottish Prison Service, Crown Office, Procurator Fiscal Service, Association of Chief Police Officers, and other key partners.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Lynch, Angus Divisional Commander, said: “I think we would all accept that we have all made mistakes early on in the journey of life and the Whole Systems Approach acknowledges this through the provision of enhanced understanding and support to young people, many of which have many challenges presented to them when they are 16 or 17.

“This approach allows all agencies to better support them through this time by encouraging positive behaviours and a sense of civic and community responsibility and has the potential to enhance their positive contribution to their local community.”

The Whole System Approach has already been introduced into other authorities within Angus including Dundee and Perth and Kinross and within Angus partners will include Tayside Police, Social Work, Tayside Council on Alcohol, CAIR Scotland, Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration, and the Procurator Fiscals Service.