INITIATIVES to prevent young people in Cleveland from engaging in criminal behaviour have achieved reduced levels of antisocial behaviour and reoffending in just 12 months.

The Police and Crime Commissioner secured a 12-month investment of £546,000 from the Home Office’s Early Intervention Youth Fund to develop schemes to deter young people from turning to offending.

The additional funding allowed the PCC to double investment in youth outreach programmes across Cleveland and strengthen support for those at-risk.

More than 11,000 young people were contacted and supported by these programmes from April 2019 to March 2020. Specific attention was given to youth outreach provision in hotspot areas, where antisocial behaviour committed by young people has dropped by 15 per cent.

For 18-24-year-olds accessing Cleveland DIVERT – a diversion scheme designed to help first-time offenders address their behaviour and avoid a lasting criminal record – re-offending rates stand at just 3 per cent, compared to a national average of 12-13 per cent.

Funding also helped raise awareness of underlying issues that cause young people to offend and to equip professionals with the tools to address them. More than 500 frontline practitioners and professionals attended workshops by Banardos and CEL&T Training, to learn how to spot the signs of Adverse Childhood Experiences and County Lines. Young people accessing Youth Offending Services also had access to specialist workshops on emotional wellbeing, speech and language and building healthy relationships for the first time.

PCC Barry Coppinger said: “It’s staggering the difference this one-off investment has made to the lives of so many young people living in Cleveland, who found themselves on a path to criminality and offending.

"If we stand a chance of reducing levels of crime in Cleveland, it starts with better understanding and supporting the young people most at-risk of becoming offending adults – sometimes through circumstances out of their control.

"Funding for these brilliant initiatives ended in March. Through clever financial management, we have been able to sustain some of this activity, but it’s essential the Government intervene and ensure we have the investment we need to help people."