Change a young persons life and reduce crime in Merton

Responsible members of the community sought

Merton’s Youth Offending Service is asking members of the community to join the Merton Youth Offender Panel and help local youngsters who have committed crimes pay the community back.

Most young offenders aged between 10 and 17 convicted by the courts for the first time and plead guilty are given a Referral Order. The court refers them to Merton Youth Offender Panel.

Talking to the youngster, their parents or guardians and the victim of the crime, the Panel agrees tailor-made contracts aimed at putting things right. This might include activities aimed at repairing the harm done to the victim or undertaking community work on removal of graffiti or other neighbourhood projects.

The programme will also include referrals for professional help to prevent further offending, such as victim empathy, anger management, self-esteem, mentoring and support with alcohol or drug misuse.

Councillor Su Assinen, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Merton Panel Volunteers can help change young people’s lives, make the community a safer and better place and ensure victims are listened to. We need responsible members of the community that have a few hours a week to spare and want to put something back into the community.”

The Youth Offending Service seeks volunteers who are aged 18 or over, from all ethnic and social backgrounds, who live or work in the Merton and have:
· Patience, good judgement and objectivity
· Commitment and reliability
· Good listening and communication skills
· Ability to relate to young people

Full training and support is given, contact Stephen Page on 020 8274 4968 for more information.