Our youth justice service has been rated ‘Good’

Tuesday 20 June 2023

The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Youth Justice Service (YJS) has received an overall rating of ‘Good’ following an inspection led by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation in March 2023. 

The Youth Justice Service works with children aged ten to 17 who have got into trouble with the law or who are at risk of offending. Often these children have complex and overlapping health, educational, and social care needs and in some cases are also local authority care.  

The report highlights areas of outstanding work – including praising the dedication and skill of the Council's youth justice staff who are described as ‘a committed, knowledgeable and innovative staff group’ as well as ‘a highly motivated and energetic team, in equal measure thoughtful and innovative’.  

Councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement, said: “We want everyone in Royal Greenwich to be safe and feel safe. The success of our Youth Justice Service in reducing re-offending is testament to our joined up working with our partners as well as our hard-working team.” 

Councillor Matt Morrow, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Every child in our borough should be supported to reach their full potential - no matter what their start in life. Through our Youth Justice Service we give children in trouble with the law hope that there is another way. The Inspectors were impressed by the way we identify the needs of each child, taking time to understand them, and find innovative ways to deter them from a life of crime – including through our creative art programme.” 

Justin Russell, Chief Inspector of Probation of His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, said: “Greenwich YJS is an aspirational service. They have an innovative approach to youth justice work which focuses on reducing reoffending and supporting those impacted by youth violence. Improvements to the service are needed – particularly in areas such as the safety and wellbeing of children dealt with outside the courts, but the foundations are in place for this YJS to flourish.” 

The report makes six recommendations which will help to further develop the quality of work being delivered. The service’s Youth Justice Plan will outline the actions the Council is taking to address the recommendations made.    

The inspection looked at standards of organisational delivery (leadership, staffing and facilities), their management of children serving court sentences (court disposals) and children serving cautions or community sentences (out-of-court disposals). It also rated the quality of resettlement work as ‘Good’.  

The report is available on HM Inspectorate of Probation's website.