Meet the Team- Steve Collier
My name is Stephen Collier, and I am the VRP’s Youth Justice Lead seconded from Wirral Council’s Youth Justice Service (YJS).
Working together with partner agencies is an integral part of the work completed by all Youth Justice Services, aiding them in their delivery of child-focused restorative work, which aims to prevent or reduce re-offending.
Within the VRP, the ethos of partnership working is developing further. I work alongside colleagues from a variety of disciplines to commission projects and initiatives that address the criminogenic and socio-economic factors that help reduce the likelihood of violent offending.
I feel that our specialist areas of work crossover efficiently and aid our decision-making processes. I also feel that the work we have commissioned has provided those involved, or at risk of being involved, in offending with appropriate advice, guidance, and support.
We have projects such as Careers Connect’s ‘Right Choice,’ an intensive mentoring programme, and ‘Street Doctors’, a programme delivered by volunteer doctors through two practical and interactive skills-based training sessions, which give young people the confidence and practice to act in a real medical emergency. Both involve a combination of 1-1, group work in person or online.
The VRP has also funded an interactive online resource “tackling and preventing serious youth violence and gang activity” for use by all the YJS, which belong to the Merseyside VRP umbrella. Interactive sessions have been designed to meet the needs of young people’s learning abilities – plus, its working model can follow each child should they move between any of the Merseyside YJS.
A deferred prosecution pilot, ‘Operation Inclusion’, which builds on the current Merseyside YJS’s Out of Court Disposal Interventions, is also in development. It aims to provide Merseyside’s YJS with an additional intervention to address and prevent escalation of offending associated with violent crime, primarily involving children aged between 13 and 17, who are at risk of landing a criminal record.
I hope that, by working in close partnership and implementing these interventions and initiatives, we will start to see a reduction in violent offending and provide opportunities for individuals to make real and long-lasting positive changes in their lives.