Press release

Newport YOT praised for helping to turn children away from crime

Newport Youth Offending Team (YOT) has been praised for ‘stepping up and making real improvements that are helping to turn children away from crime’ in its most recent HMI Probation report.

Youth Justice Board for England and Wales

The Youth Justice Board, which has worked closely with Newport YOT over the last 12 months to identify the most effective ways to improve the YOTs outcomes for young people, says that staff there should ‘recognise the considerable gains’ it has made since the last inspection. The YJB also endorses the inspectorate’s positive judgement following the YOT’s re-inspection earlier this year.

Dusty Kennedy, Director of YJB Cymru, said:

I’d like to congratulate the youth justice service in Newport for making such significant progress and I’m glad my team has been able to assist.

Since their last inspection the senior managers and staff of the YOT and wider partnership took full advantage of the expertise and effective practice resources we provide. This is a shining example of what can be achieved through a combination of hard work, a constructive local attitude to inspection and a national performance improvement team.

We realise there is still more to do to make sure children and young people in the service are protected. We will continue to support Newport in their efforts to secure positive and crime free lives for those they supervise.

During this improvement period, YJB Cymru delivered a number of training and development sessions which the YOT used to improve ratings across the full range of areas inspected. This included:

  • advice on establishing strong quality assurance systems
  • a review into the use of custody including a staff development workshop
  • a comprehensive data interrogation and interpretation exercise to create a greater understanding of young people who re-offend

The Youth Justice Board will continue to support, advise and provide guidance and to the YOT as it takes further steps to improve areas highlighted by the Inspectorate as requiring continuing development - particularly in the crucial area of protecting young people.

Councillor Gail Giles, Newport City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Young People, said:

I appreciate the work done by HM Inspectorate of Probation in this area, and we welcome their positive comments on our progress and their recommendations for further improvement.

Shortly after taking on this portfolio, I met the youth offending team and was impressed with their hard work, perseverance and commitment which has been vital in bringing about a significant improvement in the service.

We recognise that there is still work to be done to make the service even better, but I believe it is definitely heading in the right direction with the continued support from the management board and the Youth Justice Board.

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, added:

I would like to thank the inspectorate for their work and guidance.

We will take on board their recommendations to ensure that, as a council, we do all we can to make further improvements in the service for the benefit of both the young people, their families and the wider community.

The Youth Justice Board will continue to support, advise and provide guidance and to the YOT as it takes further steps to improve areas highlighted by the Inspectorate as requiring continuing development - particularly in the crucial area of protecting young people.

Notes to editors

You can read the report on the HMI Probation website.

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Published 9 June 2016