Swansea Bureau Pre-Court Diversion Model - Swansea University (2013)

Summary: Swansea Bureau is a pre-court diversion model, which runs across most of Wales.




Researchers at Swansea University have produced an analysis of Wales' Swansea Bureau model. The analysis consists of:


The Swansea Bureau was established in 2009 through a partnership approach between Swansea Youth Justice Team, South-Wales Police and supported by the wider Community Safety Partnership. The Bureau is underpinned by a children's rights, restorative justice and needs-led theory base. By acknowledging their wrong-doing, the child is able to make amends and be diverted out of the criminal justice system. Children must meet specific criteria in order to be eligible, which include:

  • Being a first time entrant
  • Aged between 10-17 years of age
  • Offence gravity score must be between 1 and 3
  • Must accept responsibly for their actions
  • Both the child and parents/carers must voluntarily engage in the process


The Bureau process comprises five distinct stages; Arrest and bail, the assessment of young people, assessing the needs of victims, a Panel where the Bureau Co-ordinator, a Police Sergeant and a community representative discuss and agree provisional decisions concerning an appropriate outcome for each young person, which may also include intervention programmes and finally attendance at the Bureau clinic where the young person and their parent/carer also attend and agree the final outcome for the young person.

Since its establishment the Bureau has extended as a model of pre-court diversion across most parts of Wales, operating to the same model as that originally developed by Swansea Youth Justice Service. Not all of its cases are now first time entrants as the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2014, allowed for low level offences committed by children already in the justice system to be considered for pre court diversion and therefore by the Bureau process.