Youth Justice worker Kate Langley has come home to Gloucester to help vulnerable young people through their difficult teenage years and avoid conflict with the law.

She is answering the call of Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) who has made helping young people become responsible adults one of the priorities of his time in office.

Kate, 40, who lives in Hempsted, has an eighteen month old son Lewis. She went to St. Peter’s School, Gloucester and after graduating from Leeds University worked in youth justice in some of the most challenging areas of London. She was not planning to leave but the lure of home and her new role was too good to turn down.

She said, “I loved it in London. I loved the work. But my family is here and I’m excited by the opportunity”.

Kate works as part of the Gloucestershire Youth Support Team, which is provided by Prospects – the education, employment, training and care company – on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. Kate leads on youth justice for the integrated team and through multi- agency working will lead the Young people Becoming Adults part of the PCC priority plan.

“It’s very encouraging that this is a priority for the Police and Crime Commissioner. I think we are very lucky in Gloucestershire that the PCC places such importance on diverting young people away from the criminal justice system.

“We have good partnerships in place and through the PCC there is a real platform to develop new ideas. Young people need opportunities and support. One third of young offenders in Gloucestershire are in care; one third have special needs”.

On the question of whether there is a growing knife culture in Gloucester, Kate says not.

“From what I have experienced elsewhere, definitely not. And the data does not support a problem with knife crime in Gloucestershire. If you say there is a problem it can become self-fulfilling though any young person carrying a knife is too many.

“In some places, the police have a catch and convict approach. In Gloucestershire there is much more effort put into prevention. The approach is more positive, more work is being done in schools”.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, “As a father I know how difficult the transition from teenager to adult can be. It is important the system works for young people and doesn’t alienate them.

“Kate has the experience and empathy to deliver and I am delighted she has accepted my invitation to lead on this priority”.

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Kate returns to her roots to help young people become adults by Kate | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/