Prison Me No Way - Jersey

States of Jersey Police - Your Child Your Responsibility Campaign

The “Your Child, Your Responsibility” campaign has been designed to raise public awareness about certain issues affecting young people right here in Jersey and in particular raise the awareness of parents of those young people.

Essentially it is a crime and safety campaign.

In developing the campaign the States of Jersey Police have spoken to a wide range of other States Departments and agencies including:

  • The Honorary Police
  • Children’s Service
  • Youth Action Team
  • Brook Centre
  • Alcohol and Drugs Service
  • Education Department
  • Parent Support Service
  • Youth Service
  • Health Promotion
  • Child Accident Prevention

One of the main factors coming out of this consultation process was the view that parents do have a responsibility and a duty with regard to the behavior of their children. The vast majority of parent’s discharge this duty in a diligent manner however there is a ‘significant minority’ who for a variety of reasons do not.

It is believed that one of those reasons, is that we live on what is regarded as a very safe Island and many parents simply do not realize what some young people are getting up to and the harm that they are exposing themselves to on a very regular basis. By raising awareness and advising parents the Campaign hopes to encourage parents to take a more responsible and proactive stance with their children.

 

The two principal aims of the Campaign are:

1. To reduce anti-social behavior and youth offending.

2. To reduce the number of instances when young people expose themselves to significant health and welfare risks.

The proactive stance that the Campaign seeks to promote is encapsulated in four questions:

  • Do you know where is your child?
  • Do you know who is your child with?
  • Do you know what your child is doing?
  • Do you know what time your child is coming home?
 

Component parts of the Campaign

There are 3 main elements to the Campaign.

1. On going media campaign including the use of some roadside banners.

2. A leaflet, containing advice information covering a range of issues and listing useful contact details.

3. A letter to parents scheme whereby the Police write to parents / guardians advising them of instances where the Police have dealt with their son / daughter / ward.

Of the three elements listed above, the letters to parents scheme is regarded as being the most important in that it alerts a parent / guardian to something that their child / ward has done.

Letters are only sent out in certain circumstances in accordance to set criteria:

  • Where Police have reason to suspect that a young person was involved in anti-social behavior or was part of a group suspected of involvement in anti social behavior.
  • In all cases where alcohol has been confiscated or disposed of (provided the young person is not subject of investigation for licensing matters-which would normally mean that the parents would be advised in due course).
  • When a young person appears to be under the influence of alcohol and/or other substances.
  • When a PPACE stop and search has been conducted.
  • In all cases involving young people under the age of 16 years who are believed to be truanting from School.
  • Where a young person is checked in circumstances which the attending Officer feels, although not warranting the immediate action or notification of parents, should nevertheless, should be brought to the attention of a parent or guardian.

 The term anti-social behavior covers a very wide range of activities all of which are regarded as being detrimental to the quality of life - these activities include noisy and rowdy behavior, throwing stones and other missiles, etc.

The letter scheme has been designed to alert parents of particular incidents and possible areas of concern e.g. Under age drinking. If however a number of letters are sent out regarding the same individual then the Police will seek to follow up this process either by direct contact with the family concerned or through the Youth Action Team.