The VIP Project incorporates Leicestershire Cares Power to change model: Power within, Power with, and Power to in its delivery to ensure that nobody is left behind, and all children and young people are supported to reach their full potential.
On the VIP Project, we work with young people who have been in custody to assist them with getting into education, employment, and training. In order to obtain a deeper understanding of our participant’s experience whilst in custody, it became necessary to organise a visit to Euston Street Police Station.
We need to accept that increasingly we live in a complex world where often there is not one neat linear solution that will solve all our issues. Rather there is often a complex web of interlocking issues that shift and change.Kieran Breen
At the police station, Simon Walters provided a through tour of the custody suite. One of the things which became apparent during the visit is the fact that there is very much an intentional effort to look after the well-being of those in custody. When making a decision as to whether place an individual in custody, the custody sergeant must consider the following questions:
- Has there been an offence?
- Has someone witnessed the offence?
- Is it necessary to place the individual in custody?
Simon Walters explained that an individual would only be placed in custody when this was necessary. Having had the opportunity to visit custody, it became apparent that this was not a place where anyone should aim to re-visit. The visit to custody led to reflection on some of the reasons why people find themselves in custody.
Prevention is far more cost effective and better than cure, but often does not grab the headlines
During the visit, it became apparent that a higher rate of crime occurs at night particularly in areas where there is a thriving night-time economy. It was also confirmed that alcohol was a major factor which influenced crime. The intoxicating effect of alcohol on people who are unable to manage their intake of alcohol means that some people may act in ways that they would not if they were sobber.
Young people who are excluded from school are also at a higher risk of ending up in custody because they leave a place of structure. They are transported into life with excess time on their hands during which time, they will be presented with multiple options on how to utilize their time. Undoubtedly, some of these young people will fall prey to criminal exploitation and will find themselves in custody.
- It would be wise to take a pre-emptive approach to crime by addressing issues around alcohol mis-use and responsible drinking. Training sessions could be provided to students in the first year of secondary school on how to utilize alcohol when they reach the legal drinking age.
- In relation to exclusions, a more intentional focus should be placed on reducing or removing the option for schools to exclude students. Instead, schools should partner with external providers to provide enrichment classes to young people in a variety of ways.
Violence Prevention should commence with a pre-emptive approach which assesses past trends and takes action. If we keep on doing what we have always done, then we will simply keep getting the same results. Intervention should therefore take place before a crime has been committed.
For more information about the VIP Project click the link below:
VIP Project Development Officer:
Goal setting article