To stay safe and confident you need to know the law, your rights and what to do if you get involved in crime.
Know the Law
LawStuff gives free legal information to young people.
LawStuff is run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre, which provides more detailed information both over the phone and online.
I've witnessed a crime
We all know to phone 999 if you see a crime that’s an emergency – for example if someone is in real danger. If you need to report a crime that isn't an emergency, phone Sussex police on 0845 60 70 999. Every bit of information helps, so make sure you report it.
If you want to report a crime but don’t want to give your name, contact Crimestoppers, free phone: 0800 555 111.
Read more at Gov.uk - Report a crime or anti-social behaviour
I've been a victim of crime
It can be really upsetting and scary to witness or be a victim of crime. You don’t need to deal with it alone – you can get help from Victim Support. You & Co is Victim Support’s youth programme that helps young people cope with the impact and effects of crime. Read more at the You & Co website
You can also visit the Victim Support – are you ok? pages for young people.
I've been accused of committing a crime
The law says that you are innocent until proven guilty. If you are arrested, you can ask for your rights to be explained for you at any time. If you are 16 or under you cannot be interviewed without an adult there. This will be your parent, carer, social worker or another appropriate adult.
Find out more about the youth justice system and the different stages you will go through at Gov.uk - Young people and the law
Drugs and the law
Illegal drugs are put into one of three categories depending on how dangerous they are:
- Class A - these are the most harmful drugs and include cocaine, ecstasy and LSD.
- Class B - these include speed, cannabis and some amphetamines.
- Class C - the least dangerous drugs but are still harmful. They include ketamine and some tranquilisers.
If you're caught with drugs, you can be charged with possessing an illegal substance, whether it's yours or not. If you're under 17, the police are allowed to tell your parent or carer that you've been caught.
East Sussex Youth Offending Team
If you are convicted of a crime, the courts will put you under the supervision of the Youth Offending Team (YOT). You will need to comply with the conditions of your order, which will be designed to help:
- steer you away from crime and anti-social behaviour
- with support in education, training or employment
- find ways to repay the community
- with support for resolving drug and alcohol problems.
Contact the East Sussex Youth Offending Team
Youth Offending Team
St Mark’s House
14 Upperton Road
Phone: 01323 466633
If you feel you may be at risk of being involved in offending behaviour and would like to talk to someone please call your local Targeted Youth Support contact.