Youth engagement and diversion officers work within local policing teams to reduce serious youth violence. They divert and support individuals who are involved in violent youth crime, either as victims or perpetrators. They help to engage these individuals into more positive lifestyles, away from crime. Officers also help to build trust and confidence between young people and the police through open and honest conversations. They answer questions and foster better understanding about policing.
Youth engagement and diversion officers work closely with a number of partner agencies, such as education and youth offending teams. They also work with parents, community groups, and local organisations. Through this work, youth engagement and diversion officers ensure young people are introduced to the appropriate partner agency that is best placed to offer support and guidance.
Some of the day-to-day work of youth engagement officers includes:
providing advice and referrals to partner agencies
conducting joint home visits and prison visits
engaging with young persons and their families
attending partner and community meetings to work towards joint solutions
Sport plays a key part in youth engagement as it is a proven way of engaging with young people in a positive way and helping to divert them away from crime. Youth engagement and diversion officers are often involved with a number of sporting initiatives set up across the Met, supported by sports clubs and organisations, including boxing, netball, and football.