Policing and young adults

Policing and young adults

Young adults

Young adults aged 18 to 25 make up less than 10 per cent of the UK population but are a third of those sentenced to prison every year. Annually young adults in this age group make up 30 to 40 per cent of cases involving the police.

Evidence on maturity

Evidence shows that many young adults have not reached full developmental maturity. This can lead them to become involved in risky activities or behave impulsively. The evidence has led to calls for agencies in the criminal justice system to take the needs of this age group into account.

We reviewed the current approaches to policing young adults, including good practice. Using the evidence we found, we make the case for taking a distinct approach to the 18 to 25 year age group.

The project

  • We looked at the policy developments that have taken place since we published our first report in 2013. This publication presented findings of a scoping study on the policing of young adults.
  • We also looked at best practice in forces that are taking distinct approaches to this age group.
  • We propose some pilot projects to test whether alternative approaches are workable.