We recently welcomed a new Head of Children and Young People to Leicestershire Cares, and in line with our Power to Change model, we decided that it was important to connect Amy Cook with some of our key stakeholders. We therefore visited Euston Street police station to introduce her to Turning point, a key partner on the Violence Intervention Project.
Chloe Bird, Senior VIP Worker who is situated in Euston Street Police station, provided us with a tour of the facilities. During the tour, we were shown a comfortable room which had been decorated in collaboration with a previous detainee. It had been identified that low risk detainees required a more neutral room within which interviews could be conducted in a more trauma informed manner.
Trauma-informed practice is an approach to health and care interventions which is grounded in the understanding that trauma exposure can impact an individual’s neurological, biological, psychological and social development. Police officers have a duty of care towards those in custody and it has been noted that trauma informed practice is increasingly being used within the police force.
At Euston Street police station, in line with the guidelines produced internally, trauma-informed practice has been adopted due to the identified benefits such as reduced assaults on staff and a reduction in self-harm amongst detainees. Trauma informed practice also facilitates the provision of additional support to detainees with the aim of diverting detainees from committing further offences.
Young people are highly appreciative of being out of their cell, taking them into a nice environment and engaging in general conversation - they feel valued and really appreciate the change of scenery and time.Chloe Bird, Senior VIP Worker- Turning Point
In line with trauma informed practice, it was identified that a less austere setting would be required at the station; this led to the creation of the “Shielded Hub.” The shielded hub is a more person-centred room complete with wallpaper on the walls and comfortable chairs. It is a room used to speak to detainees at the booking-in stage and during other stages of the detention process. The Shielded hub is also utilised by members of the VIP team to discuss future options available to the participant. Pace inspectors make use of this room to conduct reviews with compliant detained people. It is also available to be used by appropriate adults when speaking with a compliant person.
Chloe Bird, confirmed that the Shielded Hub was designed in Euston Street Custody to provide a safe and calming place for police and professionals to utilise with young people and vulnerable adults to facilitate support. It can be used as an alternative to being in a holding cell (small, confined box where a PC is watching you) as some young have said this is "extremely intimidating", "heightened stress" and reported feeling like "an animal" confined.
At the heart of this approach is the belief that we need to work with young people in a joined up, agile and holistic way that is rooted in partnership working and a solid understanding of the local place and context. It is also based on the belief that young people are often best placed to know what is best for them and, given support and encouragement, they can become “creators” rather than just “consumers” of services and solutions. We believe our power to change approach can inspire young people’s energy, vitality and creativity and, in doing so, turn despair into hope and create a better city and county for all.Kieran Breen, CEO Leicestershire Cares
Leicestershire Cares Power to Change Model acknowledges the fact that young people often live in a web of complex and inter-linked issues; therefore, support should be provided in a creative and agile manner rooted in partnership. We believe that as Euston Street has taken the time to create a safe space for detainees, by providing them with diversionary options in custody including sports and ETE opportunities, this will lead to a reduction in re-offending.
To read about our Power to Change approach, click on the link below:
For more information about the VIP Project click the link below:
Youth Justice Project Development Manager