Perceptions of the Youth Justice Agency

Date published: 05 July 2019

The Department of Justice (DoJ) today published Research and Statistical Bulletin ‘Perceptions of the Youth Justice Agency: Findings from the 2016/17 and 2017/18 Northern Ireland Crime Surveys’ (NICS). It is an Official Statistics publication.

The focus of this publication is on confidence within the Youth Justice Agency.

Key Findings

  • NICS 2017/18 findings show that just over a quarter (27.6%) of respondents indicated that they had heard of the Youth Justice Agency, while the remaining 72.4% felt they had not. These figures were unchanged when compared with NICS 2016/17.
  • Of the 27.6% who had heard of the Youth Justice Agency, over one-third (36.6%) of respondents felt either very or fairly aware of the work they undertook.
  • Just under two-thirds (63.3%) of respondents felt either not very or not at all aware.  These figures were unchanged (p<0.05) when compared with NICS 2016/17.
  • Just under half (46%) of respondents felt either very or fairly confident that the Youth Justice Agency is effective at reducing re-offending by young people.  This figure was unchanged (p<0.05) when compared with 46.4% in NICS 2016/17.

Notes to editors: 

1. This is the fourth publication to be drawn from NICS 2017/18, a representative, continuous personal interview survey of the experiences and perceptions of crime of adults living in private households throughout Northern Ireland.  Previously conducted in 1994/95, 1998, 2001 and 2003/04, the NICS began operating on a continuous basis in January 2005.  It generally mirrors the format of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

2. An alternative, but complementary, measure of crime to offences recorded by the police, the main aims of NICS are to:

  • measure crime victimisation rates experienced by people living in private households regardless of whether or not these crimes were reported to, or recorded by, the police;
  • monitor trends in the level of crime, independent of changes in reporting levels or police recording practices;
  • measure people’s perceptions of, and reactions to, crime (for example, the level and causes of crime, the extent to which they are concerned about crime and the effect of crime on their quality of life);
  • measure public confidence in policing and the wider criminal justice system; and
  • collect sensitive information, using self-completion modules, on people’s experiences regarding crime-related issues, such as domestic violence.

3. The bulletin refers to fieldwork undertaken during the financial year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, which involved 1,582 people aged 16 years and over giving complete interviews.  This represents an eligible response rate of 52%.

4. Official statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.  They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs.  They are produced free from any political interference.  They are also subject to restrictions in terms of pre-release access. 

5. The bulletin will be available in PDF format only from either the DoJ website or Analytical Services Group, Block B, Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast BT4 3SG (Telephone: 028 9052 0186; Email:

6. Press queries about this publication should be directed to the DoJ Press Office on telephone number 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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