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What does the Youth Offending Service Do?

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The Lambeth Youth Offending Service (LYOS) works with young people that get into trouble with the law. We look into the background of a young person and try to help them stay away from crime.


  • Help young people at the police station if they’re arrested
  • Help young people and their families at court
  • Supervise young people serving a sentence in the community
  • Stay in touch with a young person if they’re sentenced to custody
  • Contribute to the deliver of local crime prevention programmes.

When you may come into contact with the LYOS

LYOS gets involved if a young person:

  • Gets into trouble with the police or is arrested
  • Is charged with a crime and has to go to court
  • Is convicted of a crime and given a sentence

Usually, the police are the first people to contact us. But family members and friends can also contact us if they’re worried about a young person’s behaviour.

We are part of your local council and are separate from the police and the courts.

We work with:

  • The police
  • Probation officers
  • Health, housing and children’s services
  • Schools and education authorities
  • charities and the local community

We also work with a range of services to complete detailed reports and assessments on young people who we support. These reports and assessments look at all aspects of the young person’s life including their learning. We provide support through specialist services such as Speech and Language therapy and emotional well being support. Our support also extends to offering the services of a General Practitioner (GP). Our work is either done on a one to one basis or as part of a group work programme.

The YOS offers one to one support for young people who break the law. This involves supporting them into work or educational programmes. In particular we work with young people to unblock those issues which affect their lives and bring them into conflict with the law.

We also work with our policing colleagues to raise awareness around issues such as Autism, speech and communication difficulties and special educational needs. LYOS, through its assessments and partnership workings, can ensure we deliver interventions that are appropriate to the young person's learning needs and styles. Also we can work with our partners to support young people in the educational provision.

We are also committed to working with our SEN colleagues in ensuring that all our staff have the skills to assess and work with young people who have Special Educational Needs. To achieve this we hope to develop closer operational ties and host colleagues from the SEN to brief our staff on both legislative changes and what to look for when assessing a young person with SEN. For more information about the work of the Youth Offending Service follow this link