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New Generation Policing

Our partnerships with police services and Police and Crime Commissioners aims to develop mainstream policing approaches that respond to young adults’ needs (driven by experiences of poverty, trauma, and racism) and prevent them from being caught in the revolving door.

Our work is driven forward in the following trailblazers sites: Cleveland, Durham, Humberside, Leicestershire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and West Midlands. 

A campaign for change - divert young adults into support

Our New Generation Campaigners, young adults with lived experience, are leading a campaign to reduce the arrest of vulnerable young adults, and are calling for the police to divert them into support instead.

The campaign has four key asks:

  1. Identify: Police need training to identify vulnerabilities, especially trauma.
  2. Involve: The police must involve young adults in the design of diversion services.
  3. Invest: Government & Police and Crime Commissioners must invest more in diversion services.
  4. Inform: Police need to record data on who is being diverted.

You can support our campaign for a new approach to policing young adults. Please get in touch with Elsa Corry-Roake to find out more.

Police can make their own commitment to young adults here.

Young adults can join our New Generation Campaigners by contacting Sean Mullen.

Leadership and Practice Exchange

We are running a series of interactive and tailored events that foster peer-to-peer learning, knowledge and practice exchange among policing professionals, third sector organisations and people with lived experience. The events are designed to support OPCCs and police services to collaborate and innovate. 

As part of this, we have set up a Knowledge Exchange Network with The Police Foundation which brings together police Inspectors and Chief Inspectors from across England and Wales to co-create new and better ways of policing young adults aged 18-25. Read about our first meeting in Decemeber 2020 here.

For more information contact Elsa Corry-Roake.

Knowledge Exchange Network - October 2021

This session looked at street interactions and explored the resources needed for the police to better solve problems, build trust and relationships, and reduce harm for young adults in contact with the criminal justice system.

KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE NETWORK - APRIL 2021

This session looked at the reasonable adjustments and the support available to young adults with neurodevelopmental conditions, as well as the resources and training available to the police to support the identification of neurodiversity.

Knowledge Exchange Network - March 2021

This meeting focused on policing challenges in identifying and supporting vulnerable young adults in the criminal justice system and explored how the involvement of young adults with lived experience at strategic and operational levels can reduce demand on policing. 

Knowledge Exchange Network - January 2021

This meeting looked at Violence Reduction Units (VRUs). Set up in response to rising levels of violent crime, the Units identified adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), deprivation, school exclusions and other factors as key drivers of serious violence, with some focusing on the under-25 cohort.

Our supporters

We want to thank our funders, the Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, and the Lloyds Bank Foundation for making this happen. Thanks also to our diverse and knowledgeable steering group members: HMI Wendy Williams (HMICFRS), Chief Constable Mark Collins (Dyfed-Powys Police), Chief Constable Andrew Rhodes (Lancashire Constabulary), Susannah Hancock (APCC), Prof. Kieran McCartan (University of West of England), Prof. Huw Williams (University of Exeter), Dr Eamonn O’Moore (Public Health England),  Neena Samota (St Mary’s University), and Myron Rogers (Chair of Lankelly Chase Foundation).

The Knot - Lived experience perspectives on policing trauma, poverty and inequalities

This research, based on the perspectives of young adults who have committed repeated low-level offences, explores guiding principles for trauma and poverty responsive policing.

This briefing brings together evidence from 100 young adults with personal experience of the ‘revolving door’. Their repeated contact with the criminal justice system is driven by multiple unmet needs. These include mental ill-health, problematic substance use, homelessness, and domestic abuse.

For young adults caught in the tangle of poverty, trauma and structural inequalities, every encounter with the police appears to exacerbate trauma and inequalities. These young people are likely to distrust police and other services and may avoid support, believing that no one will understand or be trustworthy. They often feel hopeless about their life circumstances or chances of recovery.

The briefing makes recommendations about how policing strategies should acknowledge the prevalence of trauma among young adults who commit repeat, low-level responses. These strategies must address disparities in how the police use force and exercise discretion. They must also include a review of operational policing tactics and police custody environments to see how they could be improved to reduce trauma.

Police commitment to young adults

This commitment from the police has been developed by New Generation Policing. It acknowledges that young adults need a distinct approach when they experience crisis, become victims of crime, or break the law.

There is strong evidence from neuroscience, psychology and criminology that the brain continues to develop until a person’s mid-20s. The last elements to develop are forward planning, rational thinking and empathy. We also know that poverty, trauma, and mental health needs make young adults vulnerable and more likely to come into contact with the police.

This commitment acknowledges that the right intervention can make all the difference. Preventative measures are reducing the number of children entering the criminal justice system, and a similar approach could be used with young adults.

New Generation Campaign

Our New Generation Campaigners are leading a campaign to reduce the arrest of vulnerable young adults. They are calling for the police to divert young people aged 18-25 into support instead.

Every year 50,000 cautions or convictions are being handed to young adults for low-level and non-violent crimes like theft. The police already have the power to divert young adults into support, instead of arresting them, especially for non-violent and low-level crime. But too often the necessary support services are not available.

This campaign calls for young adults who experience poverty, trauma and inequalities to be offered support to address their health and human needs. Investment in this new approach will reduce crime.

Understand us

This publication analyses results from two national surveys that aim to understand young adults’ views of policing. Assessing responses by gender, ethnicity, and life circumstances, we explore how young adults’ trust and confidence in policing can be improved. It is our hope that this survey will begin a national conversation about policing young adults.

Both surveys highlight the new generation’s changing attitudes towards policing, crime, and justice. Today, young adults expect the police to understand their personal circumstances and show compassion towards them. They want police officers to be able to identify their needs and divert them away from the criminal justice system into support.

It is vital that police leaders listen to young adults, particularly those with lived experience of the criminal justice system. Police leaders must understand young adults’ concerns, needs and expectations and co-create the future of policing in collaboration with them.

Knowledge Exchange Network - March 2021

This meeting focused on policing challenges in identifying and supporting vulnerable young adults in the criminal justice system and explored how the involvement of young adults with lived experience at strategic and operational levels can reduce demand on policing. 

Knowledge Exchange Network - January 2021

This meeting looked at Violence Reduction Units (VRUs). Set up in response to rising levels of violent crime, the Units identified adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), deprivation, school exclusions and other factors as key drivers of serious violence, with some focusing on the under-25 cohort.

Police-led diversion – the LEAD approach

Revolving Doors Agency is proud to announce a strategic partnership with Public Defenders Association to promote a new approach to police-led diversion that we believe can better prevent the revolving door of crisis and crime.

Briefing for the launch of LEAD UK

This briefing marks the launch of LEAD (Let Everyone Advance with Dignity) in the UK. LEAD is an ambitious, whole system approach to harm reduction and law enforcement. This police-led diversion approach is used pre-arrest and at the point of arrest.

LEAD has been designed specifically for young adults (18-25) in the ’revolving door’. These are people who commit repeated low-level, non-violent crimes, often driven by a combination of mental ill-health, problematic substance use, homelessness, trauma and poverty.

With LEAD, independent decision-makers collaborate on a voluntary basis across health, local authority and PCC boundaries. In addition to police, service providers, community groups, prosecutors and elected officials, people with relevant lived experience are also meaningfully involved as partners.

LEAD is proven to achieve a 58% decrease in rates of rearrests and an 87% decrease in prison admissions for repeat offenders. It also reduces some of the racial disparities among this population and brings reconciliation to police and community relations.