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Youth offending services win watchdog approval

PUBLISHED: 09:06 26 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:36 26 December 2019

Picture: Met Police

Picture: Met Police

MPS

Youth offending services (YOS) in Brent were marked as "good" - the second-highest possible grade - following a government inspection.

HM Inspectorate of Probation noted that the borough has several challenges, with "serious youth violence" and issues relating to county lines drug dealing.

Service staff were praised for their ability to build positive relationships to stop young people committing offences.

However, inspectors noted that more support could be given to those with high welfare needs to avoid criminalising them unnecessarily.

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Chief Inspector of probation Justin Russell said young people who commit lower-level offences can be handled outside the court system.

He suggested that the council reviews its approach.

He added: "There are relatively high levels of serious youth crime, knife crime and involvement in county lines drug-dealing across the borough.

"Staff at Brent YOS are working hard to support 10 to 18-year-olds who have offended or who are at risk of offending."

More than half of the children and young people known to the YOS pose a high risk of serious harm.

He made four recommendations, based around dealing with young people outside the court system, on where YOS in Brent could improve.

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