Youth workers are running duplicate services in the same London borough to reach young people too scared to enter “rival” territory, it has been revealed today.
Chief Inspector of Probation, Dame Glenys Stacey, said staff trying to divert young offenders from crime in Wandsworth “must take account of territorialism when arranging appointments” because some “will not go into certain areas”.
She praises staff for making provision to meet where juveniles “feel safe”, adding: “On occasion, provision is duplicated in different areas, so all children and young people can access it.”
No details were given about the specific appointments provided in duplicate, but youth offending teams’ work includes supervisory meetings, as well as specific projects, from jobs with the homeless to working on allotments, to give young people a new focus.
Dame Glenys’s disclosure comes in a largely positive report on the effectiveness of the youth offending team in Wandsworth. It is the capital’s biggest inner London borough and contains about 60,000 under-18s, of whom 22 per cent are classed as living in poverty.
But the report will reinforce concerns about the way “postcode” gang conflicts continue to blight London and the prospects of some of its young people. It also reveals that efforts are made to keep potential gang rivals apart at court and at other places where they might encounter each other.
The report praises the focus on maintaining effective working relationships with the children concerned and the use of schemes, from working with the homeless, arts and crafts, and working at a football club, to help turn young offenders’s lives around.
Dame Glenys expresses concern about the varying approaches taken when young people bring knives to school, with some choosing not to call the police, while others do.
She says this “can result in a discriminatory process” for some young people and fails to “take account of the wider vulnerabilities” some might suffer.
Youth offending teams deal with children aged 10 to 18 who have been prosecuted or referred after coming into contact with police.
Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/g ... 91721.html
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