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Camden Council’s youth offending service awarded first ‘outstanding’ in London

PUBLISHED: 10:06 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:29 13 May 2020

Held as part of Camden's Youth Safety Week in February, the winners of the Shout Out debate from Fitzrovia Youth in Action. Photo: Justin Thomas

Held as part of Camden's Youth Safety Week in February, the winners of the Shout Out debate from Fitzrovia Youth in Action. Photo: Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas

Camden Council’s youth offending service was rated ‘outstanding’ on Monday and among the best in the country.

A Camden Q&A led by teenagers and young adults. Picture: Justin ThomasA Camden Q&A led by teenagers and young adults. Picture: Justin Thomas

The town hall’s youth provision was praised for “understanding the issues affecting children” following a week-long assessment in January by the Inspectorate of Probation.

Its report published on May 12 said Camden – the first London borough to be awarded outstanding under a new inspection framework – “values the children, young people and families they work with”.

Cllr Abdul Hai, responsible for the council’s youth services, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I’m incredibly proud of our entire youth service for their hard work, commitment and determination which has led to this result - I’d like to thank all of you.

“In Camden, our vision is to ensure no one gets left behind, and Camden’s staff, alongside key partners, embed this vision in their work every day to support vulnerable children, young people and their families who are most at risk.”

The report said Camden’s youth had broad support across issues of knife crime, substance abuse, mental health, physical wellbeing and speech and language.

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They were treated as “individuals” despite often leading “complex lives” facing “increased fear for their safety”.

Lucy Frazer, justice minister, said: “This is a glowing report and I want to congratulate the dedicated and creative staff at Camden’s youth offending service.

“From schemes to protect children from knife crime and gangs, to innovative work with partners around overrepresented minority groups, the service has displayed a commitment to improve the lives of vulnerable children across the borough.

“As a Government, we want to continue reducing the number of children entering the criminal justice system and Camden’s work is playing an important role which I hope other local authorities can learn from.”

Maria Ahmed, YOS Peer Advocate, said: “My fellow peer advocates and myself are so proud to be working for the Camden Youth Offending Service.

“From being service users to peer advocates, where we now have the opportunity to make a difference to young people’s lives, it’s a real privilege.”

Despite being rated outstanding in nine out of 12 areas - a score of 31/36 - the report noted Camden could improve its contingency planning and place more focus on the protection of victims.

To see the full report click here.


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