Good work in tackling youth crime

SUFFOLK'S Youth Offending Service has welcomed an inspection report that found it was performing satisfactorily.It met nine out of 15 national targets, but a range of improvements were recommended, including carrying out more work with victims of crime.

SUFFOLK'S Youth Offending Service has welcomed an inspection report that found it was performing satisfactorily.

It met nine out of 15 national targets, but a range of improvements were recommended, including carrying out more work with victims of crime.

The report, produced by a team led by Andrew Bridges, HM chief inspector of probation, said: "We found the service in Suffolk to be well-led at a strategic level, appropriately structured and managed operationally, delivering some good practice in its work with children and young people who had offended.

"There were systems in place to ensure a regular focus on achieving high-quality service delivery and an increasing attention on early prevention work. We saw some good links and delivery arrangements with partner organisations."


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It looked at the Suffolk teams based in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds and said staff groups were working hard to maintain and develop consistent approaches.

But the report added although it had good initial supervision, reviews were not as timely or thorough and said policy and procedure around risk of harm to others was not sufficiently understood and practice was inconsistent.

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Tony Lewis, portfolio holder for children and young people at Suffolk County Council, said: "These are a very challenging group of young people we work with. We have some very stretching targets we have to meet.

"It's very good to get that overall mark of approval for what we have been doing. I am pleased with the way the report has come out, particularly with the challenges faced by staff. This is not a service awash with money."

Allister Hart, head of the Youth Offending Service, added: "Our work has increased, the repeat offending by young people has reduced, not by a huge amount at all, but nevertheless repeat offending is coming down."

The service has three months in which to produce an action plan of improvements.

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