Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service

Most children and young people are not dangerous - most children and young people known to NYOS aren’t dangerous either.  But some young people do present a risk that they might cause harm if they re-offend, and NYOS takes that risk seriously.

Children can pose a risk in a number of ways, through the potential for them to commit deliberately violent offences with or without weapons (e.g. serious assaults or sexual offences); through committing offences where harm wasn’t planned, but might happen (e.g. lesser assaults and burglaries) or because they are mentally unwell and unable to control their behaviour (this is very rare).

As part of the ASSET assessment, we assess the extent to which children and young people might be likely to cause serious harm to others if they re-offend.  We look at what they might do, who might be harmed and what can be done to prevent or reduce that risk.  External controls are things that are done to a child or young person to control their actions (e.g. a curfew, exclusion area, or custodial sentence).  Internal controls come from the individual, and NYOS works to help children and young people develop their own internal controls.

When we assess that this is a problem, NYOS has a system of assessment, planning and review that tries to make sure that the right things are done, by the right people at the right time.  These plans involve increasingly senior people in NYOS as the level of concern rises.  Plans to manage risk will involve putting external and internal controls in place.  Where NYOS has identified the highest level of potential risk, a referral will be made to MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) where all of the agencies that can assist are required by law to co-operate to protect the public.