The Department of Justice (DoJ) today published an Official Research and Statistical Bulletin on ‘Youth Engagement Statistics for Northern Ireland 2018/19’.
This bulletin presents data on cases relating to young people (aged between 10 and 17 years) coming into formal contact with the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland for the year 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019, providing some detail on those referred for the youth engagement process, alongside information on the time taken for that process to complete and on subsequent outcomes.
- Of the 2,822 cases relating to young people coming into formal contact with the criminal justice system in 2018/19, 40.4% (1,139) were deemed suitable by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for resolution through the youth engagement process, with 57.3% (1,618) cases assessed as not suitable.
- The majority of cases involving young people coming into formal contact with the justice system in 2018/19 involved males, (76.5%, 2,160).
- Almost half, 1,403 (49.7%) of cases involving young people coming into formal contact with the justice system in 2018/19 were for those aged 16 or 17 at the time of their offence, compared to 1,419 (50.3%) who were aged 15 or younger.
- Of those assessed by PPS as not suitable for youth engagement, 47.8% (774) were deemed suitable for prosecution and 51.0% (825) were assessed as requiring no further action.
- The most common outcome from youth engagement clinics was a youth conference plan, with 49.5% (564) of young people following this route. Informed warnings were the outcome for 18.9% (215) of young people attending youth engagement clinics, with restorative cautions being the outcome for 17.7% (202) of young people.
- The median time taken for cases to reach completion via the youth engagement process was 46 days. 80% of all cases had completed within 89 days.
- Legal representation was present, or legal advice received prior to youth engagement clinics in 26.5% (245) of cases in 2018/19. In 73.5% legal representation was offered, but declined by the family or young person concerned.
- For clinics where a restorative caution was the outcome and where there was a victim, they participated in 80.0% (72) of cases through their presence, sharing of their views or via victim impact statement.
Notes to editors:
1. This bulletin presents data on cases relating to young people coming into formal contact with the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland during the year 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019. Additionally, the bulletin provides detail on those referred for the youth engagement process, alongside information on the time taken for that process to complete and on subsequent outcomes. Detail on the structure of the population concerned is also included.
2.This is the first year this information has been available and it is anticipated that it will be published annually. It is hoped that an updated version of this bulletin, containing figures relating to 2019/20, will be available in November 2020.
3.The data used in this bulletin were, in the main, taken from the Causeway Data Sharing Mechanism (DSM1). They were extracted primarily based on records contained on the Criminal Records Viewer (CRV). The CRV is held on Causeway and utilises data which originated in the PSNI, PPS and from Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS). Causeway is an interconnected information system, launched as a joint undertaking by the Criminal Justice Organisations (CJOs) in Northern Ireland.
4.Data relating to youth engagement clinic dates and outcomes, sourced from the YJA Management Information System, are matched with the information from Causeway, to complete the dataset and information in relation to legal representation at clinics, as well as in relation to victim involvement, is sourced from PSNI.
5.The figures reported in this bulletin, in the main, relate to cases where the date of charge (for charge cases), or date accused informed (for summons cases) falls within the year specified, where the case was prosecuted by the PPS on behalf of PSNI, Harbour Police, Airport Constabulary or the National Crime Agency (NCA). They relate to young people aged under 18 at time of offence.
6.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 and are produced free from any political interference. They are also subject to restrictions in terms of pre-release access.
7.The bulletin will be available in PDF format from Justice-ni/statistics and research publications or Analytical Services Group, Financial Services Division, Block B, Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast BT4 3SG
8. 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.