MAR 01] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL NEWS
Crackdown On City Young Offenders
Young offenders who each commit dozens of
crimes in Coventry face electronic tracking in a new scheme
designed to end their bad behaviour.
Youth Offending Service has been one of the first in the country
to successfully bid for cash to create a new scheme to help combat
service will receive more than £200,000 per year for three years
from the national Youth Justice Board to fund an Intensive
Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) aimed at the city's
most prolific young offenders.
scheme aims to reduce the re-offending rate by closely monitoring
the behaviour of young offenders. There are 56 youths in Coventry
known to have committed 1,420 offences between them.
tracking, a voice verification system and education and training
will be used to deter them from crime.
programme consists of individually designed packages tailored to
the supervision and surveillance needs of each young offender.
the most serious cases, it could comprise of 24 hour, seven day a
week electronic tracking.
new part of the scheme is the use of voice verification, where a
young offender's whereabouts is monitored through the use of a
computerised telephone system.
young person will register his or her voice in the presence of a
youth offending team officer, and given a unique identification
number and a contact schedule.
young person will need to be at a given place at the given time on
his or her contact schedule where they will take a call from the
computerised system, and will need to register their details by
speaking to a voice prompt.
the young person does not take the call, or the voice is not
recognised, the system alerts a youth offender team officer who
can take appropriate action, which could lead to the young person
being put before the courts.
verification schedule can be arranged so the young person takes
calls from school, home, work or any other suitable location. It
can also be arranged at times or places where they are most likely
to be at risk of not complying with their order.
ISSP scheme also emphasises personal responsibility among the
offenders, making them see things from the victim’s and getting
involved with reparation programmes.
are close links with education, training and employment, and an
emphasis on the development of personal and social skills, with a
minimum of five hours structured activity each weekday and three
hours at weekends.
Tom White, cabinet member (Community Well-Being) said:
am delighted that Coventry 's Youth Offending Service has been
successful in their bid for this money and must congratulate our
Youth Offending Team for their hard work in preparing the bid.
is a major new initiative that will provide highly structured
and intensive supervision for young offenders, while its
emphasis on education and training will give the young offenders
a focus away from crime.
want to reassure the community that the behaviour of our most
prolific 10-17 year olds is being dealt with and that any
failure to comply with court orders is taken most seriously.
This is a no-nonsense approach that I hope will act as a
deterrent from crime but also offer opportunities for those
young offenders to turn their lives around."
scheme will be operational by July 2001 and will work within the
overall context of the Youth Offending initiatives currently in
operation in the city.