Innovation Exchange

Early and Effective Intervention (EEI)


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Early and Effective Intervention (EEI) is an agreed framework between agencies including the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS).  It focuses on timely interventions for children and young people who offend.

Theme: Health and Social Care

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The Early and Effective Intervention (EEI) process has been operating in North Ayrshire since May 2011.  EEI is a multi-agency approach, led by a Social Worker based within the Saltcoats Police station who has access to Police and Social Service information systems, supporting proportionate and timely decision making. Initially the process only targeted young people not subject to Statutory Supervision, who were involved in low level offending aged 8 – 15 year olds. From August 2012, however, EEI was expanded to include all 8 – 15 year olds regardless of legal status. Finally, from August 2013, EEI was expanded further to include all young people aged 16 and 17 years old (not subject to Statutory Supervision) who have committed low level offences and deemed appropriate by Police Scotland.

North Ayrshire has gone from one of the highest levels of youth offending in Scotland, to now being in line with the Scottish average despite being a community with one of the highest levels of deprivation and youth unemployment in Scotland.


Within North Ayrshire there is a well-established multi-agency approach to young people who commit low level offences. There is a strong partnership evident in EEI, with Police, Health, Education, SACRO, Youth Services and Social Work working together towards improved outcomes for young people and communities. These partners are able to evidence a reduction in bureaucracy in processing such young people, with a significant reduction in report writing to the Children’s Reporter, timely interventions being accessed, resulting in positive outcomes for the young people referred to EEI as well as a high level of young people not re-offending once entering.


EEI has led to:


  • 40% Reduction in formal report requests from Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration 2012/13 – 2013/14
  • 90% of young people referred to EEI have not re-offended
  • Average response time from offence to intervention is 11 days.
  • Due to proportionate and timely response, interventions appear be more successful at supporting change.
  • 87% reduction in referrals to the reporter on offence grounds, 2007/08 – 2013/14, from 603 to a record low of 81

In 2014/15 North Ayrshire’s EEI was selected as only one of two Local Authorities in Scotland to be evaluated by a Phd Student seconded from the Scottish Government as to its effectiveness. Its findings are captured below:

  • There is considerable evidence that EEI has brought improvements in multi-agency working in North Ayrshire.  In particular, interview participants have highlighted the benefits in meeting and discussing cases, and have noted an improvement in the way information is being shared.  The EEI members work across boundaries and work collaboratively with other professionals across different sectors, in order to meet the needs of the young people they are dealing with.

  • Many of those partners interviewed for this study, champion and promote that young people who have committed a minor offence should be given an appropriate response and an opportunity to change, without formal sanctions always being necessary. Participants shared that they are passionate about their roles within EEI and believe in the process in order to bring better outcomes for young people who offend.

  • Evidence suggests that EEI is having a significant impact on offence referrals to the Children’s Reporter in North Ayrshire (and across Scotland).  Data shows that between 2009/2010 and 2013/2014, North Ayrshire saw an 80% decrease in children referred to the Children’s Reporter on offence grounds. The average decrease across Scotland is 72%, showing that North Ayrshire has experienced more of a decrease in comparison to other areas in Scotland.

  • Evidence also suggests that EEI provides a timely response to offending behaviour.  Participants in this study have shared the importance of timeliness and have often compared the length of time it takes to progress a case through EEI compared to SCRA.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Mark Inglis

Senior Manager, Intervention Services

North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership

01294 317794

Case study added to site: June 2016

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