In the report published on 27 January, HMI Probation state:
"We found that Bradford was a well performing YOT with experienced staff and managers who were enthusiastic and committed to delivering high quality services. Nearly all children and young people had a good quality assessment at the start of their contact
with the YOT which led to appropriate plans to manage the likelihood of reoffending, safeguarding and vulnerability, and any issues relating to harm that they may cause to others.”
Bradford's YOT is made up of representatives from agencies that include the police, the probation service, children's social care, the care trust and education.
The YOT works to identify the needs of young offenders and the risk they pose to others. By doing this it can address the specific problems that make the young person offend and put programmes in place to help prevent further offending. The YOT also offers
support to parents and the victims of crime.
The report highlights that the success Bradford has had in reducing reoffending. The published reoffending rate for Bradford was 34.0%. This was slightly better than the previous year and considerably better than the England and Wales average of 37.9%.
The inspection also found that appropriate plans were being put in place to help protect the public. There was evidence of good working relationships with the police, and where there was an identifiable victim, steps were being taken to manage the risk of harm
posed to them by the young person.
The report identifies six key strengths and two areas for improvement.
- The YOT provided high quality assessments of the needs of children and young people. The YOT arranged for the delivery of a wide range of interventions in partnership with the statutory and voluntary sector to meet the identified needs of children and young
- Case managers carefully considered the methods and interventions that would ensure that the services they offered met the diverse needs of the children and young people to effectively challenge and change their behaviour.
- Pre-sentence reports were of a high quality, providing sentencers with accurate assessments and clear and appropriate proposals.
- Where intensive interventions were required, they were delivered at an appropriate level.
- Required actions to protect the child or young person and others from harm were clearly identified in risk and vulnerability management plans.
- Where children and young people initially failed to comply with their sentences appropriate enforcement action was taken, often leading to a positive response. Where necessary, cases were returned to court.
Areas requiring improvement
- The quality of reports for referral order panels was often insufficient.
- The assessed level of risk of harm presented by children and young people across the YOT lacked consistency despite the fact that cases had often been quality assured by managers.
A full copy of the report is available on the HMI Probation website:
Gani Martins, Chair of the YOT Board and Assistant Director of Children's Specialist Services, said: "This was a thorough inspection which found that the service has many strengths of which we can be proud and on which we can build. Our staff are already
working with our partners to address the two areas where improvement is needed.”
Coun Ralph Berry, Executive Member for Health and Social Care, said: "This is a very positive report that shows our youth offending team is working well to stop re-offending, safeguard vulnerable young people, support victims and protect the wider public.”