A team dedicated to reducing youth crime is celebrating being named as the best in the country.
West Berkshire Youth Offending Team (YOT) has been ranked top of the nationwide performance tables for the first four months of 2004.
The team is staffed by around 40 workers and volunteers.
The YOT deal with around 200 young criminals each year with the aim of preventing them re-offending. Their success rate is 82%.
The team works closely with young people, drawing on information and expertise from police, probation, health, social services and education.
Many are given a "final warning" by police - after which the YOT works to see they stay out of trouble.
Davy Pearson, YOT team manager at West Berkshire Council, said: "It is very satisfying for the work of the team to be recognised.
"The success of the team relates to a firm belief in the ability to change behaviour.
"We have shown that this is possible and that working in this way can achieve the long term benefits needed to make a real difference."