Council reports dramatic falls in youth offending thanks to ‘whole system’ scheme

A council report has revealed a 76% reduction in serious offences committed by young people in Dundee.

The drop follows the introduction of a new approach to youth justice, called the ”whole system” method, which targets those aged up to 17 who are in danger of falling between the welfare and criminal justice services.

The approach involves early intervention, diversion from prosecution and community alternatives to secure care and custody.

The council says that over the last year there has been a 33% fall in overall youth crime and a 45% drop in the number of persistent young offenders.

Councillor Ken Lynn, convener of the social work and health committee, said: ”The city council and its partners are determined to give support to young people so that they do not place themselves in danger and take risks. We want to encourage our young people to make positive choices and I am heartened by the first year’s achievements of the whole system approach.

”All of the partners involved want to prevent the social damage that results from youth crime to themselves and the rest of the community.”

The report will be presented to councillors on Monday, along with another on the first year of operations of community payback orders.

Over the last year, the equivalent of 898 weeks of unpaid work was completed by offenders.

Councillors will also hear how the work of offenders will be improving sports facilities in the city in the coming months.

Unpaid work projects are set to be carried out at Riverside sports centre, Craigie Community sports hub, the Charlotte Street pavilion and Whitton Park pavilion, following a bid for funding to the Tayside Community Justice Authority.

Mr Lynn said: ”I am pleased to see that community payback orders are beginning to have an impact.

”The number of orders imposed by the court has risen by around a third in the last year. I am keen to see these orders helping to make a positive contribution to communities across the city.”