Triage Services offered by TAASTriage aims to bring a Youth Offending Service (YOS) expertise into police stations to aid speedy and efficient decision making...

Triage aims to bring a Youth Offending Service (YOS) expertise into police stations to aid speedy and efficient decision making. The Triage/ YOS worker will make early and rapid assessments of young people and assist in the decision making process. It offers an opportunity for young people to get access to interventions quicker, for parents and careers to get support earlier and to assist the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in speeding up the criminal justice process.


At the moment there is no model which all local authorities and police forces follow as Triage is a new initiative and TAAS feel that it is important that it is developed to meet local needs.


TAAS can work with you to develop your triage model to suit your requirements.


As with all of our services TAAS will ensure that there is always a trained Triage Worker to attend the Police station within an hour of a request.


Triage takes place at the point that a young person enters police custody following arrest. The concept, taken from the hospital triage model, seeks to use custody areas as a ‘gateway’ whereby all young people entering custody can be rapidly assessed to ensure that they are dealt with swiftly and effectively. This involves joint decision making between police and YOS staff with support from the Crown Prosecution Service.


The gateway ensures:

  • young people arrested for low level offences for the first time can be diverted out of the criminal justice system with the use of restorative practice involving the victim
  • a rapid assessment by the YOS to identify initial risks and protective factors which inform the joint decision making
  • serious offences and persistent offenders can, with good information exchange, be escalated swiftly to court


Some of the Benefits are :

  • significant reduction in first time entrants into the criminal justice system
  • improved decision making on dealing with young people who are arrested
  • a direct link to access prevention services
  • victim satisfaction through restorative justice

How Triage Works

When a young person is brought into the custody suite, the police will contact the YOS who will establish whether the young person is know to the YOS or to Children’s Services. The YOS will make contact with those agencies to which the young person is known in order to get a holistic view of the young person and help inform Police/ CPS decision making. The police will undertake a Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) interview as usual. If the young person has been arrested for an offence with a gravity score of 1 or 2, has admitted guilt and has no previous criminal record, the Triage/YOS worker should attend the custody suite to assess whether the young person is suitable for triage. They will then advise the police and CPS in order to help inform decision making.


The Triage/YOS worker should interview the child and their parent carer at the custody suite in order to assess whether the young person is likely to comply with an intervention and would get support from parents and carers in order to do so.


During the course of this interview the Triage worker may also get a sense of how many criminogenic risk factors are present but a full assessment is not required immediately as this cannot be carried out at the custody suite. For all those where a decision is made to divert from the criminal justice system, the interventions must be designed to include a restorative justice approach. The full assessment, undertaken later, may indicate the need for referral to other services and the completion of CAF.


Having the assessment done immediately following the police procedures will have a greater impact upon the young person.


YOS expertise can also help inform the police and CPS in their decision making about bail and disposal through the criminal justice system for those who are in the custody suite on more serious matters. This also enables early intervention to be put in place where it has been identified as necessary (eg. help with substance misuse, parenting). Triage processes are compliant with both PACE and the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.


TAAS firmly believes that the Triage Assessment should not be carried out by the same worker that has been party to the police interview


What are the Benefits of Triage?

  • Early identification and assessment of risk of reoffending and need (including vulnerability)
  • Interventions for the young person and the parents put in place quickly
  • Victims input into interventions through a restorative justice approach
  • Low level/ low risk offences handled outside of the criminal justice system enabling more time to be spent on more serious and persistent offenders and offending
  • Prevent young people from reoffending by delivering interventions earlier
  • Reduce numbers of First Time Entrants into the criminal justice system and current evidence shows only minimal impact on sanction/ detention rates
  • Improvement in partnership working and better outcomes for young people
  • Improvement in information sharing between agencies


TAAS can provide a specially trained triage worker to cover either all of the call outs or just Out of Hours. As with all TAAS services the Triage service is on a spot purchase arrangement, so the YOS are free to use the service as much or as little as they like to compliment their in house arrangements, or to completely remove the burden from the YOS staff. The reason that Triage brings YOS expertise to point of arrest is to allow the option of not bailing for assessment.


Hours of operation for triage are important and TAAS recognises that the cost of offering the police a 24/7 service can have serious implications on the already stretched YOS budgets so our ‘PAY AS YOU GO’ option allows you to control your budget by only paying for the hours that you actually need the service.


You can have a 24/7 service as and when you need it, with no cost outlay until the service is needed.


TAAS can have a trained Triage worker at the police station within 60 minutes of the referral and the assessment usually takes 90 minutes so you would only have to pay for the time taken not for staff that might not receive a call out



T.A.A.S can provide the YOS with a specially trained triage worker...



Triage Services provided by The Appropriate Adult Service Ltd