YOTs – what are they ?

Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) were created by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 with the purpose of preventing offending by children and young people. They are the key to successful intervention in the lives of children and young people who commit criminal offences and their families.

YOTs are multi-agency teams made up of representatives of the Police, the Probation Service, Social Services, Education and the Health Service. They carry out a comprehensive assessment of young offenders to find out the reasons for their offending behaviour and decide the level of risk of their reoffending. This enables YOT staff to identify suitable programmes to deal with the offending behaviour, with the aim of preventing further offending.

Many YOTs now have substance misuse workers and housing officers in their teams to address specific difficulties faced by young offenders, such as drug and alcohol problems and homelessness.

YOT staff also work closely with the youth courts and the Crown Courts in providing pre-sentence reports to help magistrates and judges decide on the appropriate sentence to impose on young people who are convicted of a criminal offence.

For YOT contact details by region, please use the map below or for all YOTs visit the YJB site.