Youth restorative disposal (pilot scheme)
The Youth Restorative Disposal (YRD) is a pilot measure that offers a quick and proportionate response a young person's low-level offending and allows victims to have a voice in how the offence is resolved.
It gives specially trained police officers and police community support officers on-the-spot discretion to hold to account young people who have committed certain minor offences. It is only possible to use a YRD for a first offence and both the victim and harmer must agree to participate.
Using restorative justice techniques, a young person has to face up to the impact of their offence, offer an apology and examine why the offence took place. Where appropriate, a plan is made for the young person to make good the wrong that was done in the offence.
By identifying young people on the cusp of further offending it allows youth offending teams (YOTs) to get support to them to help address their behaviour. The scheme will help reduce the number of young people entering the Criminal Justice System for low-level crimes. The YRD could also contribute to reducing the risk of reoffending.
Where a YRD is issued, it is recorded locally and not on the Police National Computer. It does not give the young person a criminal record. Police forces will inform their local YOT that a YRD has been issued. This provides an earlier opportunity for YOTs to act on first signs of risk of criminal activity.
The YOTs may follow up with a letter to the young person's family offering voluntary parenting support or other appropriate intervention.
How the YRD works
Only young people between the ages of 10-17 who have not previously received a Reprimand, Final Warning, Caution or other disposal are eligible.
A young person may receive only one YRD.
Serious crimes, such as weapons, sexual and drug offences, are not eligible for a YRD.
The victim and offender both need to agree to participate in the YRD, which will be facilitated by an authorised officer trained in restorative justice techniques.
The process must be resolved within a reasonable time - on the street or shortly after.
The process involves a meeting between the victim and offender, an apology and may include additional action to right the wrong caused.
The YOT is informed after the YRD is issued providing an opportunity to identify early risk factors and get the right agencies to step in with appropriate support to a young person.
The YRD will be recorded locally against the young person's name to ensure that young people are not issued with a further YRD and to avoid disproportionate criminalisation that would result from being recorded on the Police Nation Computer.
The pilot is being led by the YJB though the scheme was devised by the YJB with the Association of Chief Police Officers. It will end in 2009 with a subsequent evaluation to consider the potential of introducing it nationally. The scheme is running as a pilot in eight police forces:
- Avon and Somerset
- Greater Manchester
- Metropolitan (Greenwich and Lewisham)
- North Wales
The pilot scheme was officially announced in November 2008 at the YJB's Annual Convention by Justice Minister David Hanson.
For more information on the YRD, contact Rheanne Scott.