This year HMI Probation introduced a new core case inspection regime for youth offending teams (YOTs) looking at three specific areas of practice—safeguarding, risk of harm to others and risk of reoffending. To date only the inspection reports of North West YOTs have been published. Of the 21 YOTs in the North West 12 were assessed as requiring significant improvement in at least one area of practice. Three YOTs were assessed as requiring substantial improvement in a single area of the inspected work: Cumbria, Manchester and Stockport. The following were assessed as requiring substantial improvement in two or more of the areas inspected: Bolton, Bury, Lancashire, Liverpool, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside and Wirral. In addition Sefton YOT was assessed as requiring drastic improvement in two of the three areas and substantial improvement in the other.
The assessment of YOT performance does not rest soley with the HMI Probation core case inspection. It has been designed to include two distinct but complementary processes which together give a complete picture of the performance of a YOT Partnership. The HMIP Inspection regime looks in depth at practice whilst the YJB YOT assessment is at a strategic level and looks additionally at: reducing re-offending; first time entrants; engagement in education, training and employment; access to suitable accommodation; public and victim confidence and reducing numbers in custody. The most recent YJB quarterly assessment of YOT performance was completed in July. The results for the 139 English YOTs show that 79 per cent. of YOTs were classified as either good or outstanding.