Pre-arrest diversion

An opportunity for young people to divert away from the criminal justice system and receive advice and support around challenges with drugs instead.

Two women sitting face-to-face, one in a blue sweatshirt and the other in a black coat, engaged in a conversation in a room with white walls.

Giving you another chance

Pre-Arrest Diversion is for people aged 10-17 found in possession of a Class B or C drug. This is an opportunity to divert away from the criminal justice system and instead receive advice and support around challenges with drugs. 

We believe that if you have the right information, and understand the risks you are taking, then you will be able to make better choices for yourself. 

We offer a safe and non-judgemental space to talk and get any help you might need.

Who this service is for

Pre-Arrest Diversion appointments are by referral only. For more information on this programme, contact your local Young Person's service.

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Group 248 (1)

You are under 18

Group 248

You're living in England


You've been caught by the police in possession of a Class B or C drug (with no intent to supply)

How does it work?

The police refer you to our diversion team.

When we receive this referral we’ll contact you to arrange an appointment at a time and in a place that suits you.

You’ll meet with one of our trained workers via video call or in person. The appointment will last about an hour. 

When you first visit us for the first time:

  • We’ll talk about your drug and alcohol use to get an idea of what help you may need and answer any questions you have. 

  • We will talk about what happened in the situation that led you to be arrested and how we can avoid this happening again. 

  • We may talk about other aspects of your life, for example how you’re feeling in general and how you spend your time. 

  • We will not tell you off. We will listen and talk with you about what help you may need and what plans you want to make for the future. We can help you access any other services you may need.

If you consent and attend, we tell the police who won't take further action about this offence. If you consent but don't respond to contact or don't attend, we tell the police who decide next steps. 

Your pre-arrest diversion questions answered

No, we’re not part of the police.

WithYou is a charity providing free, confidential support and advice on drugs, alcohol and mental health to adults and young people - without judgement. 

You have to consent (agree) to a referral.

This is an opportunity for you to avoid going into the criminal justice system.

  • If you consent and take part we let the police know when this is finished.
  • If you consent but we can’t contact you or you don’t attend we let the police know and they decide next steps. 
  • If you don’t consent the police decide the next steps. 

We will not share details of what you and your young person's worker speak about unless you or someone else is at risk of harm. 

We meet as soon as we can after we receive your referral.

We will meet you somewhere you feel comfortable, in person or via a video call.

Want to talk?

Talk confidentially online to one of our trained workers. 

Or get in touch with your local young person's service:

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