The Department of Justice (DoJ) today published a Research and Statistical Bulletin on 'Youth Engagement Statistics for Northern Ireland 2022/23'. It is an Official Statistics Publication.
This bulletin presents data on cases relating to young people (aged between 10 and 17 years) coming into formal contact with the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland for the year 1 April 2022 - 31 March 2023. It provides some detail on those referred for the Youth Engagement process, alongside information on the time taken for that process to complete and on subsequent outcomes.
- There were 3,753 cases relating to young people coming into formal contact with the criminal justice system in 2022-23. This is an increase of 1,266 (50.9%) from 2021-22.
- The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) assessed 34.5% (1,293) of cases suitable for resolution through the Youth Engagement process and 60.6% (2,273) as not suitable.
- The majority (74.4%, 2,792) of young people coming into formal contact with the justice system in 2022-23 were male1.
- Just over two fifths, (42.6%, 1,599) of cases in 2022-23 were in relation to those aged 16 or 17 at the time of their offence. The remaining 57.4% (2,154) were aged 10 to 15 at the time of their offence.
- Of those assessed by PPS as not suitable for Youth Engagement, 40.3% (916) were deemed suitable for prosecution and 58.3% (1,325) were assessed as requiring no further action.
- The most frequent outcome of those completing the youth engagement process, 47.6% (615), was a Youth Conference.
- Almost all of the cases (88.4%, 76) removed from the Youth Engagement process were returned to the PPS for a further decision on how the case was to be progressed.
- The median time for a case to be dealt with through the Youth Engagement process in 2022-23 was 67 days, an increase of 1 day from the median time recorded in 2021-22.
- Legal representation, while offered to individuals, was declined in the majority (77.1%, 654) of cases by the family.
- Of those who participated in a Youth Engagement clinic and responded to the survey question, 100.0% (312) of young people stated the clinic 'helped them understand the choices available to them'.