New programme to divert young people in North East England from crime.

The Wise Group, in partnership with Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner and Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit will work with young people in local schools to divert them from crime.

The Wise Group’s early intervention work with young people, New Routes No Limits – which has already seen success in Glasgow – is being offered in four schools in Newcastle, Tyneside and Sunderland through a partnership between the Wise Group, Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner and Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit, funded by the VRU Interventions Fund.

Mentors from the Wise Group, many with personal experience of the justice system, will work with 50 young people in four schools across the area from January 2020.  The course will provide a toolkit for young people to make better choices, improve their understanding of offending, and divert them from anti-social behaviour and crime.

Hamish Robertson from the Wise Group, said: “Empowering our young people to make informed choices upstream will prevent them from being caught up in a current of crime and will not only change the course of their lives, it will lead to fewer victims of crime too.

“Bringing together local partners, our experienced mentors and over 10 years’ experience working with people in the justice system, we will lift people out of poverty and transform the lives of young people, their families and their communities.”

Upon launching the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit, Police & Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “By establishing a Violence Reduction Unit we are saying loud and clear, we will not accept rising crime in our region. Northumbria is not a violent place, it’s safe and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep it that way.

“Violent crime is a symptom of inequality, and like a contagious disease it spreads if we don’t treat it. By taking urgent measures now we can prevent this. Ten years of austerity has shown that when you cut public services such as youth services, Sure Start and help for those with addiction or mental health needs, crime rises.

“The funding I have provided will help people in the short term, but this is something we need the government to commit to long term. We need a long-term fix to solve deep-rooted issues.”

New Routes No Limits will run in four schools:

  • Newcastle upon Tyne: Walker Riverside Academy
  • South Tyneside: Hebburn Comprehensive School
  • South Tyneside: Jarrow School
  • Sunderland: Washington Academy

To find out more about the Wise Group’s work in justice, visit

New Routes No Limits
New Routes No Limits is a programme to help young people (mainly aged 10-14yo) make positive life choices by hearing from others who have personal experience of anti-social behaviour, crime and addiction.

Designed in collaboration with schools, pupils and community police officers, it is run over six double periods in the school.  Young people are also offered 1-2-1 mentoring to support long-term behaviour change.

At each session, mentors facilitate training in a relaxed, interactive way which mixes games and teamwork with discussion and education about decision making and consequences. 

Mentors cover topics including peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, mental wellbeing, violence, and relationships. 

Let’s talk

If you’d like to work with the Wise Group to support people in the justice system and help reduce the number of victims of crime, then get in touch. 

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