West Yorkshire Police is hoping to reduce demand on its under-pressure officers by teaming up with a charity that tackles the root causes of social problems for children and young people.
Yorkshire’s biggest force is working with the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) with the aim of diverting young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.
A recent watchdog’s report said the force “lacks the means to understand its changing and emerging communities” at local level and that its bobbies on the beat felt under-supported because officers were constantly being moved to other tasks. The role of EIF, one of seven government-backed ‘What Works’ centres, is to assess the evidence that works best to improve outcomes for children and young people.
Donna Molloy, Director of Dissemination at foundation, said early intervention and integrated working with partners is “the only way to reduce demand in the longer term”.
She said: “We are delighted now to partner with West Yorkshire Police, whose commitment to early intervention and working differently provides a real opportunity to put these ideas into practice within a specific force and to test their impact. Through this work, we hope to start to develop the evidence base around early intervention in policing.”
West Yorkshire Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “By engaging with the younger generations across our community at the right time and place, we can really help to improve and influence their life opportunities.
“This partnership approach will ensure we can divert them away from the lures of crime and antisocial behaviour, from an early age. In taking these steps, we can bring about a reduction in the number of calls we receive as an organisation.”