An Analysis of Youth Offending Teams' Inspection Reports

Richard White, Shona Macleod, Jennifer Jeffes, George Bramley

23 June 2010

Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) were launched across every local authority area in England and Wales in April 2000 to bring together a range of services dealing with young people and crime prevention. This includes the police, probation services, social services, health and education. All 157 YOTs in England and Wales had been inspected over a five- to six-year cycle that was led by HMI Probation and completed in 2009. This study examined evidence from 60 inspection reports, alongside Annual Performance Assessments of Services for Children and Young People, and National Performance Indicator data focusing on youth offending issues.

Key Findings

  • Taking account of the limitations of this small-scale rapid review of the evidence and the changes to inspection criteria, our analysis indicates there is insufficient evidence to suggest a marked decline in performance of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs).
  • Similarly, our analysis of National Performance Indicators for Local Government, where there are established data series, found positive trends. Of course, we cannot establish an association between YOTs and these positive trends, but this improvement should be seen as encouraging.
  • The evidence from the inspection reports reviewed indicates that there has been an improvement in the quality of management and leadership of YOTs over Phases 3 and 4 of the inspection programme.
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