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9.5.5 Working Arrangements between the Police and Hillingdon Youth Offending Service


  1. Context
  2. Warrants
  3. Young People Wanted to Assist the Police with their Enquiries
  4. The Arrest of Young People
  5. The Appropriate Adult Service
  6. Notifications of Police Action

1. Context


The principle aim of the youth justice system is to prevent offending by children and young people. To meet this aim six national objectives have been identified for youth justice agencies:

  • The swift administration of justice so that every young person accused of breaking the law has the matter resolved without delay;
  • Confronting young people with the consequences of their offending, for themselves and their families, their victims and the community and helping them to develop a sense of responsibility;
  • Intervention that tackles the particular factors that put young people at risk of offending;
  • Punishment proportionate to the seriousness and persistence of the offending and which strengthens protective factors;
  • Encouraging reparation to victims by young offenders; and
  • Reinforcing the responsibilities for parents.
1.2 National Standards have been developed to ensure that all youth justice agencies fulfil the aim and objectives. Whilst they apply primarily to Youth Offending Services/Teams, other agencies and partners in the youth justice system have specific responsibilities under these standards. The police have responsibilities concerning arrest, detention, reprimands, final warnings and facilitating the work of the Youth Offending Service with victims. 
1.3 Youth Offending Service staff have responsibilities in challenging young people about their behaviour and addressing those risk factors that place the young person at risk of offending. In order to do so team members must establish professional relationships with young people who are often disaffected and feel excluded from mainstream services and thus can be hard to engage.
1.4 All partners must be aware of the duties and responsibilities of their colleagues and how these contribute to the fulfilment of the objectives as a whole. It is important that in developing their procedures agencies do not unwittingly develop practices that impede their colleagues from meeting their objectives.
1.5 The Youth Offending Service is multi-disciplinary with representatives from Education, Youth and Leisure, Health, Police, Probation and Children’s Services. For most staff this has involved the development of a job description unique to their position in the Youth Offending Service. Upon returning to their host agency seconded staff will resume the duties in their original job description.
1.6 The Police Officer in the team is in a slightly different position. Police Officers are not employees but office holders who are subject to procedures prescribed by law. In consequence the police officer in the Youth Offending Service maintains the duties required of him/her by the police force and takes on additional duties within the Youth Offending Service. Failure to undertake police duties or follow police procedures will be a disciplinary issue for that officer.
1.7 It is important that partners and practitioners at all levels recognise the difference between procedures defined in law which are not negotiable and those developed as good practice, often within the context of a wider legal framework.
1.8 This protocol should be read in conjunction with the Information Exchange Protocol.

2. Warrants

2.1 Where young person has failed to attend court a warrant will be issued rendering them likely to be arrested and detained within the police station until the next available court hearing.
2.2 It is in the young person’s interest that outstanding warrants should be dealt with as quickly as possible. It is also in the young person’s interests that they be encouraged to take responsibility for their non-appearance by surrendering to the court without waiting for the police to apprehend them. Responsibility for actions is an important message to be promoting to young people, moreover having taken that responsibility, subsequent bail applications by the young person are more likely to be considered positively by the courts.
2.3 Where the Youth Offending Service is aware that a warrant has been issued a standard letter will be sent to the young person and his/her carer informing them of the situation and advising them to surrender to the next available court hearing.

A young person subject to a warrant who is known to the team and presents at the office should be advised of the outstanding warrant and offered support in attending the court voluntarily. If they decline to attend the court immediately, the session will be cancelled and the young person advised;

  • That they will not be allowed access to the building until such time as the warrant is dealt with;
  • That in these circumstances if they cannot be seen by their responsible officer this will be seen as an unacceptable non attendance;
  • Should they come to the building and be met by the police officer in the team they are liable to arrest by that officer.
2.5 Should the police make enquiries regarding a young person for whom there is a warrant outstanding, appropriate information should be provided by the responsible officer. The Police will endeavour not to arrest the young person on site but outside of the building.

3.Young People Wanted to Assist the Police with their Enquiries

3.1 Under the Police and Criminal Evidence act 1984: Codes of Practice, Code C 11c advises that a juvenile should not be arrested at his place of education unless this is unavoidable and officers should take the same approach when considering arresting a young people (not on warrant) at the Youth Offending Service office.
3.2 Officers should seek to locate the young person at the family home where the parents/carers can be given details of the situation and make arrangements to attend the station as the appropriate adult for their child.
3.3 It is recognised that there will be situations which require a different response, for example when the young person is wanted for a very serious, violent offence and he/she is believed to present a high risk to the public, or the young person is of no fixed abode and the contact with the Youth Offending Service is the only means by which they may be contacted. A manager from the Youth Offending Service should be notified in advance of any planned action at the site and officers will endeavour to arrest the young person outside of the building.

4. The Arrest of Young People

4.1 Youth Offending Service staff, apart from the police officer, should not become physically involved in any arrest activities that take place at the team office. Their duty will to be to ensure the safety of other staff or young people by removing them from the incident area.
4.2 Where the police officer in the Youth Offending Service is required to make an arrest he should follow all appropriate Health and Safety guidance as required by his agency.
4.3 Where young people are arrested on or around the premises it is still a police responsibility to advise a parent/carer and request that an appropriate adult from the family attends the station.

5. The Appropriate Adult Service

5.1 During office hours the Youth Offending Service provides Appropriate Adults where the police have been unable to identify a suitable adult to attend the police station with a juvenile. Outside of office hours or at weekends appropriate adults can be obtained through the Emergency Duty Team – see the Protocol with the Police, Youth Offending Service and Emergency Duty Team re Appropriate Adult Provision.
5.2 The appropriate adult provided by the Youth Offending Service will either be a trained community volunteer or the duty worker and it is important that their time is used efficiently. The custody sergeant will notify the Youth Offending Service when a young person is in custody and an appropriate adult is required. The Youth Offending Service will require a solicitor to be in attendance where a formal interview is planned. Interpreters may also be required.
5.3 The custody sergeant will advise the Youth Offending Service of the planned time for the interview. He/she will contact the Youth Offending Service when the other required parties are present at which point the duty officer will attend the police station immediately.

6. Notifications of Police Action

6.1 The police will ensure that notifications of actions taken by them including arrest, issuing of a reprimand, referral for consideration of a final warning or charge will be faxed (or electronically emailed when a secure facility exists) to the Youth Offending Service by the following working day