Larkins joins on 14 February with the title head of comms after four years at the COI, where he held the role of head of inclusivity consultancy.
The YJB exists to stop children committing crime, ensure legal cases involving young people are heard quickly and fairly, and help prevent re-offending by promoting policies such as restorative justice.
Larkins said: ‘One of the first things I will do is promote the area of restorative justice – this is where offenders meet their victims. Research shows [restorative justice] is good for both parties, and while the policy may meet resistance, it helps prevent re-offending.’
He will also promote the Youth Inclusion Programme, through which the YJB works with local youth teams to engage young people considered likely to commit crime or who are in trouble with the law.
Larkins, who will oversee a 15-strong PR team and report to YJB chief executive Ellie Roy, added: ‘Crime will never be eradicated, but we focus on prevention rather than cure. There are many people at risk, but I don’t see this as depressing. We can make a difference [by improving and monitoring the system].’
He replaces Rachel Pitkeathley, who joined the Design Council as head of government affairs in October only to leave shortly afterwards (PRWeek, 19 October 2004).
Prior to the COI, Larkins was a senior account director at The Forster Company. The COI is recruiting to replace him.