Following the government’s pledge to clamp down on anti-social behaviour the anti-social behaviour action plan was launched in March 2023. A key objective of this plan is to see perpetrators of anti-social behaviour facing swift and visible justice for their actions.
Who it affects
Under the plan, 16 areas in England and Wales will be funded to support either new ‘hotspot’ police and enforcement patrols in areas with the highest rates of anti-social behaviour or trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme to deliver swift and visible punishments. A select few areas, including Cleveland, will trial both interventions, and following these initial trailblazers, both schemes will be rolled out across England and Wales from 2024.
Cleveland has been allocated up to £1,000,000 from the Department of Levelling Up to run the Immediate Justice (IJ) Pilot within Cleveland from July 2023 to March 2024 (allocation for 2024/25 are currently unknown).
Cleveland is proposing to deliver this through existing partners with an adult referral pathway (delivered by Probation North East) – similar to the existing Divert model, which will identify those suitable for the IJ scheme after a full needs assessment. Those individuals who accept responsibility for their actions will make good by contributing to activities within the community, designed to create benefits and improvements to community spaces. We aim to deliver community payback activities within 48 hours of the individual being referred onto the IJ scheme. Where possible and practicable the scheme will include engagement with the victim as part of the IJ process in order to ensure that victim’s needs and wishes are incorporated into the activity undertaken by the offender.
In addition, we propose to include a youth referral pathway for IJ, through the existing Youth Offending Services (YOS) across Cleveland. This will identify young people from the age of 12, who have reached the stage of a second warning letter for anti-social behaviour. After an initial assessment to identify support needs for the young person, those individuals who are suitable for IJ will be placed on the scheme. The scheme will have a greater focus on restorative / educational activity through existing frameworks in place in local YOS services. Where possible this will be victim informed with the option of linking in with YOS restorative workers.
To ensure a level of sustainability and to generate interest in the posts, it has been agreed that any newly recruited job roles by our delivery partners – for the purpose of these pilots – will be recruited on a 12 month fixed term basis with the option to extend subject to available funding.