South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway youth justice efforts examined

Efforts to tackle youth offending in south west Scotland are being examined at a conference in Dumfries.

The event has been organised by the region's Youth Justice Team, which has helped to pioneer a national strategy to reduce re-offending among under 18s.

The Crichton campus conference involves agencies working with challenging and vulnerable young people.

They are examining how their work can be developed to help further tackle youth offending.

The Whole System Approach (WSA) national strategy was officially launched in Dumfries last year.

It is a programme which aims to ensure that only those charged with serious or violent crimes are dealt with by the courts.

Others, who are accused of minor offences, are put through an assessment process to determine what help and support can be given to address their behaviour.

Dumfries and Galloway's Youth Justice Team helped pioneer the strategy.

The region's Chief Constable Patrick Shearer said there had been a marked reduction in young people involved in offending, and that downward trend was continuing.

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