Islington youth offending team failing youngsters – new report says

�A team which rehabilitates teenagers who have committed crime has come under fire in a new report.

The Islington Youth Offending Team, which helps young people aged between eight and 18, is run by Islington Council staff with the police, probation service and NHS.

In the report published on September 21, government inspectors found the team was below the national average in its efforts to safeguard the youngsters, protect the public and reduce the risk of re-offending.

Julie Fox, assistant chief inspector for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, said: “We found staff were enthusiastic and able to motivate the children and young people with whom they worked.

“However, there was a need to have a greater awareness of the level of risk of harm that these children and young people presented and to ensure that steps to reduce their vulnerability are rigorously pursued.

“Overall, we consider this a somewhat disappointing set of findings.”

Cllr Julie Horten, Liberal Democrat spokeswoman for children and families, said: “This a shocking set of figures.

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“On every single score, Islington is well below the national average.

“Islington Labour councillors promised to be tough on crime and its causes, but this report shows we are failing both residents and our young people.

“If we are serious about breaking the revolving door of re-offending and prison, the council needs to get a grip and quickly.”

Cllr Richard Watts, Islington Council’s executive member for children and families, said: “We completely accept the report findings, which noted that while outcomes are good and young people feel supported, we must improve our systems and processes.

“We are already taking action to do that.”