The report was presented by Clare Moore.
Referring to the fifth bullet point in paragraph 3.9, Councillor Polley sought clarification on the type of changes and if this included county lines. Clare Moore answered that there had been an increase in county lines activity and violent crimes in which some related to organised crime.
Councillor Muldowney commented that she was pleased to see the improvements made to the out of court disposal. She commented that the Youth Justice Plan was a vision and felt that it was difficult to grasp what outcomes would be achieve for children. She questioned what resources were reduced as indicated on page 38 and how the service had been creative in delivering their services to young people during lockdown. Clare Moore answered that the reduction in resources related to the grant from the Youth Justice Board for young people on remand. The grant reduced every year and the service’s costs increased which the Council absorbed under the placements budget. She went on to say that the service had been creative in seeing young people through online meets and meeting outside in open spaces whilst adhering to guidelines. Councillor Muldowney queried how these costs could be reduced. Sheila Murphy explained that the key was prevention in encouraging young people to not reoffend. She said that recent crimes had been serious knife crimes and the service could not predict how many young people would be on remand. She explained that costs would not be paid if a young person was not convicted and that currently the service had more young people on remand awaiting trail due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Referring to paragraph 3.3, Councillor Pothecary questioned how the Council compared against other local authorities. She also asked for more information on the out of court disposal panel. Clare Moore answered that she would look into these details and email these on. She would also share more details of the Youth Justice System plan as shown in appendix one with the Committee.
Councillor Polley sought clarification on young people who moved into and out of Thurrock. She also asked if the children that was currently in Thurrock’s care were residents of Thurrock or outside of Thurrock. Clare Moore answered that the children in care in Thurrock were currently Thurrock’s residents. She went on to say that there had been families that had moved to Thurrock from London to move away from the young person’s life of crime but some would return to that area to commit crimes. She explained that most crimes were committed outside of the borough but were residents of Thurrock.
The Chair questioned whether there were issues of knife crime in Thurrock. Clare Moore explained that the levels of knife crime in Thurrock were not on the same level as London. However, there was an increase in young people involved in knife crime.
1.1 That Members noted the contents of this report and consider the continued improvements made.
1.2 For Members to identify any specific areas that they would like additional information for any subsequent reports