Sussex Police Force has announced they have received 300 referrals to their newly launched early intervention youth programme.
The programme, titled 'REBOOT', brings together partners from across the youth sector, such as the NHS Partnership Trust, the Youth Offending Service and local charities to work with young people to steer them away from criminal activities.
When a young person is referred to the agency they get assigned a youth coach who will work with them on the problems they are facing and try to move them away from negative behaviours. One of the main aims is trying to encourage the young person to invest in their future.
The project has been made possible by funding secured by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne.
Sussex PCC, Katy Bourne, said: “The reality is that young people are vulnerable to exploitation. By arming them with the tools needed to make informed positive choices for themselves, we are minimising the risk of their involvement in anti-social behaviour, knife crime or drug-related crime in our communities.
“We understand here in Sussex, that we cannot arrest our way out of this societal issue. We are instead looking at the bigger picture and working with partners to curb potential criminal behaviour at its early stages.
“I am committed to safeguarding young people and giving them opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have. The REBOOT approach is clearly working. Not only does it empower young people to make better decisions but it also educates them on the consequences of their actions.”
Sergeant Kate Blackbourn heads up REBOOT policing protocol, “We have already seen how REBOOT can really change the direction of a young person’s life. Simply by investing early on and helping these young people develop their skills and build on positive relationships, we can divert them away from situations which would otherwise put them at risk of serious violence.”
To find out more about the project, see the PCC's website