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Department of Children and Youth Affairs Irish Youth Justice Service Logo Department of Justice & Equality

Minister Andrews Welcomes Reduction in Youth Crime

Press Release


The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Mr. Barry Andrews, T.D., today published the 2009 Annual Report on the Garda Diversion Programme.

The Minister welcomed the reduction of 13% in the number of incidents referred to the programme and the 14% reduction in the number of children referred. In 2009, 18,519 children were referred, a drop of  2,893 on the previous year.

The Minister noted that the majority of children who were admitted to the programme were given an informal caution, i.e. a caution without  JLO supervision (10,059). This represents a reduction of 15% on the previous year.  A caution without supervision is generally applied for a first offence or a repeat minor offence.


Just under 4,000 children were given a formal caution, with a period of JLO supervision.  2,966  children were deemed unsuitable for diversion and these files were returned to the local superintendent for possible prosecution.


Minister Andrews noted that 7 new Juvenile Liaison Officer posts were created and filled in 2009, bringing the total number of JLOs to 116 across the country. A additional 7 JLO posts are due to be created and filled during 2010.


The top three youth offence categories for 2009 were alcohol offences (17.6%), theft (16.6%) and traffic offences (13%). When compared to 2008, alcohol offences were down by 22%, traffic by 25% and theft by 3.5%.


The Minister recognised that it was important not to get complacent and that efforts to reduce and prevent youth crime must continue. The implementation of the National Youth Justice Strategy and the efforts of the Irish Youth Justice Service and it's strategic partners, especially An Garda Síochána and the Probation Service, have a vital part to play.


The Minister was particularly pleased to note that An Garda Síochána were recently presented with a Public Service Excellence Award by an Taoiseach  for their Youth Crime Case Management System. This excellent programme is currently being rolled out across the country.


Please click on the links below to view the Annual Report.

Annual Report for the Monitoring Committee 2009 (English) 

Annual Report for the Monitoring Committee 2009 (Gaeilge) 



19th August 2010 


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