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16.4 Preventative Work


  1. Introduction
  2. LINK Program
  3. Restorative Justice

    Appendix 1: LINK Referral Process Diagram

    Appendix 2: LINK Progressive Framework Diagram

    Appendix 3: LINK Reporting Form

1. Introduction

1.1 The Youth Justice Team, in partnership with other agencies, provide targeted services to children and young people assessed as being at high risk of involvement of offending or anti-social behaviour, and the parents / carers of such children, to reduce risk and prevent them entering the formal youth justice system. The YJT recognises that many young people who come to the attention of the police are unlikely to re-offend and do not require any form of intervention. The YJT will however provide a high quality service to children and young people subject to preventative work where assessment indicates that an intervention would be beneficial to reduce the risk of re-offending. Prevention within a youth justice context refers to any activities or interventions targeted at children or young people who are at risk of offending or anti-social behaviour to reduce the likelihood that they will engage in such behaviour.
1.2 The provision of services will be carefully coordinated with other relevant agencies to avoid duplication and to ensure the most effective use of available services. If a child or young person is assessed at any time as being a Child with Complex Needs or at risk of Significant Harm, an appropriate referral will be made to the relevant team. See Children's Services Threshold Criteria for Children with Complex Needs (Children in Need) Procedure and the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board Procedures, Referrals Procedure for more information.

Preventative services should be delivered in a non-stigmatising manner to avoid labelling the young people as potential offenders. In particular:

  • Young people will be encouraged and supported to access mainstream services such as education;
  • Engagement with any preventive provision should be on a purely voluntary basis.
1.4 Preventative work is carried out via three programs. “LINK” – the Progressive Framework for dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour is a police project whereby the police refer young people to the Youth Justice Team if they are concerned about their anti-social behaviour. Restorative justice and mediation work is also carried out. 

2. LINK Program

Caption: section 2

2.1 Definition of Anti-Social Behaviour


Anti-social behaviour is defined as:

  • ‘In a manner that caused or was likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to one or more persons not of the same household’ (Crime & Disorder Act 1988);
  • ‘…a subjective relative concept, which can vary over time and location. Defining behaviour as antisocial depends on a number of factors including context, location, community tolerance & quality of life expectations’ (Nixon et al, 2003).

There are a range of Anti-social Behaviours:

  • Intimidating gatherings of young people;
  • Intimidation;
  • Dropping litter;
  • Nuisance from vehicles;
  • Noisy parties/neighbours;
  • General nuisance – throwing objects, spitting for example.
  2.1.3 This is not an exhaustive list. Anything that is a crime, drugs, traffic or drunkenness can be dealt with via usual file submission to the Youth Justice Team – see Decision to Proceed Procedure for more information.

2.2 Referral Process for Police

  2.2.1 See Appendix 1: LINK Referral Process Diagram for more information. Any police officer who encounters a child or young person they are concerned about should consider a referral to Link. This might be due to concerns about the young person being involved in crime, drugs or alcohol, traffic offences or anti-social behaviour.
  2.2.2 If the police officer is concerned about any other issue then do not use a link form. Email or call the YJT for advice on how to proceed in such circumstances. For first drugs offence DARS [C4] should still be used. When DARS (Drug Arrest Referral Scheme) is used a copy of the Crime report should be sent to YJT for info purposes.

2.3 Completing a LINK form: Police Service

  2.3.1 The police officer should complete an Appendix 3: LINK Reporting Form.
  2.3.2 LINK forms require enough detail for a letter to be produced explaining to parents the incident, even if they have already been informed. Include attitude of young person, victims views if known (indicate if unknown), your knowledge of the young person, what do you think should happen? All this will assist in assessing the outcome. The form itself may be sent to the parent as an explanation so your view may be used for impact.
  2.3.3 The LINK form should then be emailed as an attachment to an email to MAPPU:
  2.3.4 When the LINK database has been checked the outcome will be confirmed in an email to you, the local LINK officer and your Inspector.
  2.3.5 The outcome may be intervention on a local level. Your local LINK officer/ Inspector/ YJT should be approached if you require assistance.
  2.3.6 LINK forms must be submitted before the end of your shift. You should also confirm that your submission is recorded on I-Net if one exists. Only the fact that a LINK form has been submitted needs recording on I-net not the content of the form.

2.4 LINK Progressive Framework


The number of steps is few but the possibilities in relation to work which can be undertaken at each point are numerous. See Appendix 2: LINK Progressive Framework Diagram for more information. There are time restrictions on the various stages. Any young person who complies for a period of time will go back to the start of the process. If this causes problems with a young person “yo-yoing” then this will be reviewed an each case taken on its merits.

  • Step One
    • Warning letter sent to home address.
  • Step Two
    • Step Two letter hand delivered by local officer. Parental support offered and single point of contact (NPT officer) given. LINK process explained along with possible outcomes. A young person on Steps 1 and 2 will reset their progression should they fail to come to the notice of police for 6 months. This means that even on Step Two they will go back to the very beginning. The time restraints are to prevent someone who has made changes not being adversely effected by a blip in their behaviour.
  • Step Three
    • Local officer takes ownership of young person, all options considered; delivery of ABC + explanation, Formal request to highlight to MAT team, Request to start NARRATES, Assess Findings of MAT team/ CAF, Parenting classes, Meeting between young person/ Parent(s)/ Police, Refer to Social Services (see the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board Procedures, Referrals Procedure for more information). A young person on stage 3 will reset their progression should they fail to come to the notice of police for one year. Stage 3 puts the ownership of a young person with the LINK champion, but this may also be a designated officer from the NPT should the need require or circumstances dictate, perhaps an officer who has a relationship with the young person. NPT Inspectors and Link Champion will receive a copy of any letter sent on their behalf.
  • Step Four
    • Professionals meeting to assess option of ASBO.
  • Step Five
    • Meeting with young person/ Parent and explain evidence gathering for ASBO.
  • Step Six
    • ASBO application. An ASBO application has legal restraints set out in its process.
  2.4.2 OIC’s completing LINK referrals will receive notification of outcome. Supervision may also be included should there be repetitive learning need identified.
  2.4.3 Details of the school the young person attends has been added to the form, valuable info for anyone who has to work with the young person. If there is any doubt contact the YJT.

3. Restorative Justice

“Restorative justice understands crime as an act that causes harm which generates needs in victims (and communities) that must be met by a process of “restoration” focussed on repairing the harm done. In this way, restorative justice involves the obligation on offenders to “make good” or make amends. However, this cannot happen without the victim(s) and offender(s) engaging in a process that promotes dialogue to understand and repair the harm.”

(Doherty, K. (2010) The Development of Restorative Justice in Northern Ireland. In Taylor, W, Earle, R., Hester, R. (eds). Youth Handbook: Theory, policy and practice. Willan Publishing: Devon. Page 243)

Caption: section 3 table
3.1 The Youth Justice Team is committed to restorative justice as a core element of its work with young people who offend. Any involvement of victims will be completely voluntary and no pressure will be put on victims to participate in restorative processes. The YJT will offer to keep all victims informed of the progress of the case to the point of sentence, and where necessary, beyond. If victims wish to be kept informed, they will be regularly updated with information.
3.2 Information from victims will be used to inform work with young people who offend. Young people will be encouraged to understand the impact of their behaviour on victims and the community. Where appropriate, victims’ views in relation to appropriate reparation will be sought and where possible those views will be accommodated.
3.3 The YJT considers that the direct participation of victims is the most powerful form of restorative justice. Consequently, mediation and conferencing will be encouraged wherever possible, subject to assessment to ensure the safety of all parties involved.

Restorative Justice depends upon the involvement of victims and other affected parties in the resolution of the offending, leading to an outcome which promotes reconciliation and reparation. Those outcomes can in effect take one of three forms.

  • Direct reconciliation / reparation – which can include:
    • Face-to-face mediation between the victim and young person;
    • Conferencing in which the victim and young person, and other interested or relevant parties, participate in a facilitated meeting to come to an agreement about how reconciliation might be achieved;
    • Work undertaken by the young person on behalf of the victim to make amends for the harm done.
  • Indirect reconciliation / reparation – which can include:
    • Indirect or ‘shuttle’ mediation, where contact between the victim and the young person goes through a third party or intermediary;
    • Work leading to an expression of remorse, or an apology, by the young person transmitted to the victim;
    • Victim awareness work with the young person designed to encourage him or her to take responsibility for the offending and the harm done;
    • Indirect reparation, where the work undertaken by the young person does not benefit the victim directly, but is informed by, and reflects, the victim's wishes.
  • Community payback:
    • Where the victim of the offence does not wish any further involvement in the resolution of the offending, a restorative approach can involve the young person in reparative work that is of benefit to the community as a whole, without any reference to the individual victim.

Appendix 1: LINK Referral Process Diagram

Click here to view LINK Referral Process Diagram.

Appendix 2: LINK Progressive Framework Diagram

Click here to view LINK Progressive Framework Diagram.

Appendix 3: LINK Reporting Form

Click here to view LINK Reporting Form.