Safety in the Children and Young People Secure Estate: Update to December 2020

Main Points

588 assault incidents Oct to Dec 2020, of which 35 were seriousThe annualised rate of assault incidents per 100 children and young people per year was 380 in the 3 months to Dec 2020, a fall of 19% compared to the same period last year and before the Covid-19 pandemic.
376 different children and young people involved as assailants or fightersThe number of individual children and young people involved in incidents as assailants or fighters fell 32% in Oct to Dec 2020 compared to the same period last year, from 552 to 376. This is in the context of average population falling 27% over the same period.
314 assault incidents on staff Oct to Dec 2020, of which 21 were seriousThe annualised rate of assault incidents on staff per 100 children and young people per year was 203 in the 3 months to Dec 2020, a fall of 1% compared to the same period last year and before the Covid-19 pandemic.
227 Self-harm incidents Oct to Dec 2020
The annualised rate of self-harming per 100 children and young people per year was 147 in the 3 months to Dec 2020, a fall of 56% compared to the same period last year.
89 different children and young people self-harmed Oct to Dec 2020The number of individual children and young people self-harming fell 40% in Oct to Dec 2020 compared to the same period last year, from 149 to 89. This is in the context of average population falling 27% over the same period.
No deaths reported in the year to 31 Dec 2020The last death in the Children and Young People Secure Estate was in June 2019

Assaults: April 2014 to December 2020

Assault incidents decreased compared to same period last year.

In the 3 months to December 2020, there were 588 assault incidents in the Children and Young People Secure Estate (CYPSE) involving 376 different children and young people (CYP) as assailants or fighters. The annualised rate of assault incidents was 380 per 100 CYP per year, a fall of 19% compared to the same period in 2019 when the rate was 466.

Assault incidents on staff at similar level to same period last year

In the 3 months to December 2020, there were 314 incidents in the CYPSE where staff were assaulted. The annualised rate of assault incidents on staff was 203 per 100 CYP per year, a fall of 1% compared to the same period in 2019 when the rate was 205 per 100 CYP per year.

The rate of assault incidents fell substantially during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last full quarter prior to the pandemic (Oct to Dec 19), there were 995 assault incidents. For the reporting quarter April to June 2020 incidents were at their lowest point and there has since been an increase quarter on quarter. The rate of assaults per 100 CYP per year in the latest 3-months ending 31 December 2020 was 380 per 100 CYP per year, a fall of 19% compared to the same period in 2019.

Self-Harm: April 2014 to December 2020

Self-harm incidents fell substantially compared to the same period last year.

In the 3 months to December 2020 there were 227 incidents of self-harm involving 89 different CYP. The annualised rate was 147 incidents per 100 CYP per year, a fall of 56% compared to the same period last year.

Figure 5: Annualised rate of self-harm incidents per 100 children and young people in custody

The rate of self-harm incidents has fallen substantially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The rate of self-harm reached a peak of 331 per 100 CYP per year in the 3 months to December 2019 but fell in each subsequent quarter to 147 in the latest quarter ending December 2020. Across the entire year to 31 December 2020 the rate was 248 per 100 CYP, a fall of 10% compared to the rate of 275 in the preceding 12 months.

The number of individuals self-harming over the 12 months ending 31 December 2020 was 297. Reporting at individual CYP level began in April 2019 so there is no comparable whole year figure for the preceding 12 months. The number of individual children and young people self-harming in the latest 3 months was 89, a fall of 40% on the 149 individual children and young people who self-harmed in the same period in 2019.

Deaths: April 2014 to December 2020

No deaths were reported in the Youth Children and Young People Secure Estate in the 12 months ending 31 December 2020 and one in the preceding 12 months

Deaths of children and young people are fortunately rare and there were no deaths in the 12 months ending 31 December 2020. Since April 2014 there have been three deaths of children and young people within the CYPSE.

  • Two at Cookham Wood YOI in July 2015 and June 2019
  • One at Hillside SCH in February 2017
  • Each of these deaths was due to natural causes

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