Rapid Action Project

It’s not often that Rayleigh gets mentioned in the Guardian newspaper, but it was last Wednesday. Rayleigh police station is involved in a project designed to keep young people out of trouble, and it’s attracting international attention:

Marvin Mutamba, 12, seems oblivious to the fact that he’s in a police station, his thoughts fixed on after-school rugby practice. Six months ago, when he got his first reprimand for verbally threatening a child, he’d breezed through a string of short-term exclusions for being disruptive in class. But the police recognised him from his street-gang associates on arrival at the station and referred him to Rainer RAP (Rapid Action Project), an early intervention scheme that kicks in at a young person’s first point of contact with police.

“The whole idea of RAP is to prevent escalation so that the young person doesn’t end up in the court system,” says youth outreach worker Hilary Morgan.

Morgan is one of four Rainer youth workers posted across Essex police stations in Basildon, Harlow and Rayleigh. Their role is to give practical and emotional support and refer to other agencies when needed…..

….. A first-year evaluation study found that there was an 88% take up of the 422 referrals in 2005. Of these, 90% of parents/carers noted a “significant improvement” in the child’s progress at school and 70% saw improvements in behaviour and anger control. There is not yet a definitive figure for recidivism, but Carter expects it to be “significantly under 10%”.

Full story here.