Saturday 30th May 2020
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A Final Warning is a formal verbal warning given by a police officer to a young person who admits their guilt for a first or second offence.

The purpose of the Final Warning is to stop young people from re-offending.

There are two ways in which the Final Warning will help:

The Final Warning itself will help you understand:

  • what the effects of your offending have been for the victim, you, your family, and others
  • what you need to do to stop offending
  • how you can help to put things right, and
  • how other people (including your parents or others who are important to you) can help you.

A special programme of support, activity, and advice will normally follow the Final Warning, and will be arranged by the Youth Offending Service. It will be designed to help you stop offending, to help you find different things to do, and to help you put right some of the harm done.

What is a Final Warning?
A Final Warning is a serious matter. It is the last opportunity for you to stop offending before being taken to court. The police record it and if you offend again this record will mean the police will know you must go to Court.

After a Final Warning has been given you will usually be expected to take part in a special programme, agreed with you and your parents. It will help you find alternatives to offending and deal with other difficulties you may have (such as helping to ensure you get the most out of school or work, and help with drugs or alcohol misuse); and to put right some of the harm done perhaps by writing a letter of apology to the victim of your offence or by mending any damage you have caused.

Who will the Youth Offending Service speak to?
The officer from the Youth Offending Service will speak with you, your parent(s) or carer, your social worker if you have one and your school. If you are in full time work we will not contact your employer without your permission.

Why am I to be given a Final Warning?
All crime is serious and has consequences, but you have been offered a Final Warning as a ‘last chance’. If you re-offend after having a Final
Warning, you will be taken to court.

Do I have to accept a Final Warning?
Final Warnings are only for people who accept they committed the offence(s). If you don’t accept that you committed the offence(s) you should talk to the police or the Youth Offending Service about seeking legal advice.

Will I have a police record if I accept a Final Warning?
A record of the Final Warning will be kept by the police and the Youth Offending Service until you are 18 years old or for two years after it is given whichever is the longer. This will help the police decide any further action if you offend again. After this time your Final Warning is ‘spent’ which means you won’t have to tell people about it in future unless you are applying for a job with children or other vulnerable young people.

If you commit another offence and have to go to court, the Court will be told about your Final Warning.

The Criminal Records Bureau will also have a record of the Warning you receive and it will always be kept on their file. If you apply for a job anytime in the future to work with children or other vulnerable people you will need to tell your employer about your Final Warning.

Information for Parents and Carers
The officer from the Youth Offending Service will need to interview you as well as your son/daughter. You are also expected to be present when your son/daughter receives the Final Warning.

Should your son or daughter re-offend and is subsequently prosecuted and convicted, the courts have the power to make you subject to a Parenting Order. This will involve you attending counselling or guidance sessions to support you and to help you to improve your parenting skills. If you require any further details, please contact the Youth Offending Service. As part of your son/daughter’s Final Warning you will be offered help and support on a voluntary basis.




 Contact information

Youth offending service
Ground Floor, The Albany 4, Cardiff Road, Luton, LU1 1PP
Tel: 01582 547900 or out of hours emergency 0870 2385465
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