Police working with children from “troubled” families will continue to be a key priority to prevent and reduce youth crime in the county.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) said working with families where there are youngsters who may be negatively influenced will see them get help with traumatic events.

PCC Donna Jones said there was a link between the early intervention programs and the decline in youth crime and she wants to stop younger siblings copying teenagers in gangs ‘terrorising a neighbourhood, nicking cars, taking drugs, carrying knives’.

She said that where there are programs in place that engage youth at early stages, the proportion of “troubled” families and children committing crimes is less. She said that as a result, fewer children are being taken into care.

For the commissioner, working with the local NHS for a long-term solution by offering parents and the youngest the correct tools and skills to treat the cause, not the symptom.

For example, during pregnancy, giving skills to manage anger, drug addiction, and money so they’re not babies being born into poverty because of gambling, drugs, or alcoholism could prevent children from stepping into criminality.

Ms Jones said: “That’s why trauma forms such a big part of me as police and crime commissioner because that’s what I’m trying to weave through everything we’re doing.

“Every contract that we now commissioned through the office, whether it be on a perpetrator program to stop people from offending when they’re coming out of prison, everything now has trauma.

“So every contract that I award needs to have a trauma focus in it because you can keep looking people up you can keep putting people on domestic abuse courses, but ultimately, you need to go back to why that individual is beating up their partner or being very coercive and controlling and it often it’s back to childhood or at some point through their formative years.

“Unpacking what’s happened leads to the solution; otherwise, you’re only ever treating the symptom, and we need to treat the causation.”

She said that it is also important to focus on the family environment as younger brothers or sisters are the ones that, in the future, could follow “big brother” steps and become criminals.

“There’s a whole load of youth charities that I’m funding where it’s not about the individual now, and they’ve been excluded from school or the police, they’ve come across the police radar, and they are referred,” she said.

“There’s also support for families because what we know very often where you’ve got a 15-year-old that is terrorising a neighbourhood, nicking cars, taking drugs, carrying knives, member of a gang, they’ve got a little brother that’s 11 or 12 watching, thinking I want to be like him because he’s my big brother.

“Working with mum, dad, if their president, and whoever’s in that home to make sure that we’re supporting those younger siblings and the influence is absolutely key money well spent there stops them from needing that cute services of the other end.”