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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 10:46 GMT
Youth crime team 'unsatisfactory'
Young people (generic)
Inspectors found the service was 'not delivering core business'
Teams working with young offenders in Pembrokeshire have "many important shortcomings," an inspection has found.

The Chief Inspector of Probation, Andrew Bridges, said the county's Youth Offending Teams (YOT) were falling short "in nearly all areas".

He said his recommendations aimed to ensure the management board was able to give "direction and accountability". He ordered a re-inspection in 12 months.

Pembrokeshire council said there were "significant improvements" recently.

YOTs work with young people aged 10 - 17 who are offending or at risk of offending.

Inspectors who visited in July 2007 found "serious concerns" about the quality of pre-sentence reports, "limited" planning on the interventions available to staff but had a "not unsatisfactory" frequency of contact with children and young adults.

They also found young people had "limited access to health, education, training and employment opportunities" during the community phase of their sentence and most had not complied with their order and had re-offended.

'Poorly attended'

The report said: "There was anecdotal evidence to show positive outcomes but the lack of reviews made it difficult to evidence positive change."

The inspectors found victims of youth crime were "not sufficiently addressed" and only one-in-four young people were involved in restorative justice programmes.

The report also said the YOT's management board was poorly attended and provided a "very limited strategic steer" to the teams' work.

Mr Bridges said: "We found a YOT that was not delivering its core business to a satisfactory standard.

"Our overall assessment of the performance of the YOT was that in nearly all areas it was not delivering minimum requirements and there were many important shortcomings."

Pembrokeshire Council said all the agencies who operate the service accepted the findings of the report.

A spokesman said they would produce an action plan aimed at identifying and addressing the issues, including identifying resources.

"Significant improvements have been achieved since the inspection occurred last year and have started to produce identifiable results," he added.

"The joint management team are confident that further improvements can be achieved in the near future."

SEE ALSO
Youth crime team 'lack direction'
24 Jan 07 |  Mid Wales
'Success' for youth crime scheme
23 Jan 07 |  Tayside and Central

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