Cheshire West and Chester, Halton  and Warrington Councils have joined  forces to create a new way of working  with children and young people who  break the law, behave in an anti-social  manner or are in danger of heading  down that path.

The three councils have created a new  Youth Offending Service which includes a  dedicated team of specialist youth justice  workers, probation officers, police officers  and health and education professionals.

They will work together to find out why  young people engage in anti-social behaviour and crime, and importantly put in  place measures for each individual to reduce the likelihood of re-offending - using a  range of methods including education and  training, health and substance misuse services, restorative justice and reparation to  victims.

The new Cheshire West, Halton and Warrington Youth Offending Service, already in  operation, was officially launched at  Walton Hall, Warrington on June 28 with  Chair of the Youth Justice Board – the  national organisations responsible for  youth justice – Frances Done, acting as key  note speaker.

In launching the new service, YJB Chair  Frances Done, said: “I am sure by joining  forces these three local authorities will be  able to provide a Youth Offending Team  which remains focused on rehabilitating  young people and protecting the public,  while being much more cost effective.

“Furthermore, I am confident this new  approach will bring together the best local  expertise, who can respond to community  issues, helping drive down youth offending  and reducing the number of people who get  caught up in the youth justice system.”

Of the 125,000 young people living across  the three localities, only 270 are young  offenders currently registered with the service and the areas have seen a reduction in  first time entrants to the service of 70%  since 2005.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s executive member for children and young  people’s services, Cllr Mark Stocks, said:  “Youth crime across our area is reducing  but we want to drive it down even further to  ensure our communities become even safer  and more attractive places to live and work  and visit.”

“Young people have been placed at the very heart of this new service, with dedicated staff working closely with individuals to get to the root of why they have chosen to behave in an anti-social manner or commit crimes.

“Advice and support will be targeted at each person on an individual basis to ensure that they are helped on to the right path and the chance of re-offending is kept at a minimum.

“By combining our skills and experience throughout three authorities we are keeping a high quality workforce focussed on the task in hand - to reduce youth crime for the benefit of everyone.”

Chair of the new service and Executive Director of Children and Young Peoples Services at Warrington Borough Council, Kath O’Dwyer, said: “We are delighted to unveil our new partnership service, working on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington Councils alongside Police, Probation and health colleagues.

“We are confident that better outcomes for children, young people, families, victims of crime and communities can be achieved through the new service. In today’s tough economic climate it is important that innovative and collaborative approaches such as this can be developed.”