local areas, home office minister Alun Michael has announced.
These nine areas have been chosen to lead the way in tackling youth
The Crime and Disorder Bill measures to be piloted are:
- the final warning scheme - repeat cautioning is to be abolished
and replaced with a statutory police reprimand and final warning
scheme. Once a young offender has received a final warning a further
offence would result in criminal charges;
- parenting orders - to help and support parents to control the
behaviour of their children. It will require parents to attend
counselling and guidance sessions and could require them to make sure
their children go to school each day;
- child safety orders - to protect children under ten who are at
risk of becoming involved in crime. It could require a child to be
at home at certain times or to stay away from certain people or
- reparation orders - to make young offenders face up to their
crimes and the consequences of their actions. It could involve
writing a letter of apology, apologising in person, cleaning graffiti
or repairing criminal damage;
- action plan orders - a short intensive programme of community-based
intervention combining punishment, rehabilitation and reparation. It
will last three months and is designed to address the specific causes
- youth offending teams - involving social workers, police and
probation officers, and education and health staff. They will deliver
community-based intervention programmes to make youngsters face up to
their crimes and change their attitudes.
All of these measures are to be piloted by the London boroughs of
Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and City of Westminster
(joint); Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth
(joint); Wolverhampton; and Sheffield.
The child safety and parenting orders and youth offending teams are
to be piloted by: the London Borough of Lewisham; Luton and
Bedfordshire (joint); St Helens; Sunderland; and Devon.
Mr Michael said:
'Dealing with young offenders and preventing youth crime is a
fundamental part of the Crime and Disorder Bill.
'The present system allows young offenders to wreck their own lives
as well as disrupting families and communities. Young offenders have
escaped facing up to their crimes for far too long.
'Our new approach sets out a root and branch reform of the youth
justice system. All those working within the criminal justice system
will have a common principal aim - to prevent offending.
'These new measures support this aim and will ensure that young
criminals face up to the consequences of their actions.
'The pilots will build on existing work at local level and will
prepare the ground for national implementation of the new measures.'
Pilots to reduce delay in the criminal justice system for adults and
juveniles were also announced by Mr Michael. The findings will
be used to set statutory time limits for both youth and adult cases.
The measures include:
- enabling straightforward guilty plea cases to be dealt with
- promoting better case management by extending the powers
exercisable by a single magistrate and providing for some of them to
be exercised by a justices' clerk;
- immediately sending the most serious (indictable only) cases to
the crown court
The provisions will be piloted in six areas. These are: Blackburn and
Burnley; Croydon; Northamptonshire; North Staffordshire; North Wales;
Blackburn and Northamptonshire will also pilot the final warning
scheme and youth offending teams; since these arrangements will have
an effect on speed through the system and procedures in youth cases.
The time limits will be themselves be piloted in the same areas from
1. The youth justice pilots will commence in October 1998 and will
run for 18 months.
2. The Crime and Disorder Bill is currently at Committee Stage in
the House of Commons.
3. The procedural reforms which are also to be piloted derive from
those recommendations of the Review of the Delay in the Criminal
Justice System (the Narey report, published February 1997) which were
accepted by the government.