The Custody Triage Service, developed by CANW (Child Action Northwest), diverts youngsters who’ve committed low level crimes away from the criminal justice system by offering them the chance to take part in community schemes.
They have included a garden maintenance scheme at Tanterton Community Centre and maintenance at Penwortham Hill Road Cemetery.
Triage helps young offenders understand and take responsibility for their behaviour, addresses issues such as drugs, alcohol and anger management, and offers one to one mentoring.
CANW estimate the scheme saved the police £186,000 last year by helping 606 young people who would have otherwise ended up in the criminal justice system. Since 2008, the scheme has helped 3,300 youngsters.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Triage gives young offenders a vital opportunity to turn their lives around, giving them the chance to pay back their communities and build brighter futures instead of getting involved in more serious crimes, before it’s too late.”
Faith Marriott, who developed the service for CANW, said: “By helping young people make amends for their behaviour and providing a strong programme of support Triage helps them build strong links with their community, learn new skills and turn their back on a life of offending.”