YOUTH Justice services in North East Lincolnshire have been rated as ‘Good’ in an inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP).
The services, managed by North East Lincolnshire Council’s children’s services, underwent a thorough inspection in May this year, and the report has now been published.
In the report, inspectors praised managers and staff for being “dedicated and motivated to achieve the best outcomes for children, families, and victims.”
Inspectors found that children going through the youth justice process were supported, had personalised interventions and access to opportunities to gain qualifications from work that they complete, as well as having access to out-of-ours support in the community.
Youth justice teams work with children aged 10 to 18 who have been sentenced by a court, or who have come to the attention of the police because of their offending behaviour, but have not been charged – instead, they are dealt with out of court. HM Inspectorate of Probation inspects both these aspects of youth offending services.
The anti-social behaviour section of the Youth Justice service support children who are below the age of criminal responsibility to make sure that vulnerable children are identified from a young age and supported to reduce the risk of them becoming involved in criminal activity. This team’s work was commended by HMIP.
In North East Lincolnshire, the service is managed by the Council, with substantial support from partners including Humberside Police, the Probation Service, Humber & North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, We Are With You, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Yorkshire and Humber Probation Service and CPO Media.
Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for children, education and young people at North East Lincolnshire Council, hailed the findings of the report:
“I’m really pleased that our youth justice services have been recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation for their commitment to changing the lives of young people.
“Some of the key challenges facing areas like ours right now include county lines and child criminal exploitation. The inspectors noted that we have specialist services available for those who become embroiled in these types of issues and that includes services outside of normal hours.
“It’s all too easy to see these children as troublesome, but what people don’t often see is that many who come through the Youth Justice Service have been through significant trauma, neglect or exploitation.
“It’s absolutely vital that they have the chance to find their way back and rebuild their lives, and have the support to do that, and that is what the inspectors have recognised in North East Lincolnshire.
“There is always more work to do and areas that we can improve on, but this is a great basis to move forward.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison said:
“I’m very pleased to see this positive review, it is vital that services work with our young people from an early age to reduce the risk of them becoming involved in criminal activity or being exploited by organised crime groups.
“The Youth Justice Service in North East Lincolnshire is working hard with young people to turn their lives around and they are showing excellent progress in doing so.”
Michelle Thompson, Assistant Director – Families, Mental Health and Disabilities with the Health and Care Partnership in North East Lincolnshire, said:
“I am really pleased with the outcome of the inspection and whilst there are still some areas of development, it is a testament to the dedication, hard work and passion of the team who always put the outcomes for children and young people at the centre of their work. It is also reflective of the great partnership working we have in North East Lincolnshire.”