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Youth Offending Teams

Volume 550: debated on Tuesday 18 September 2012

Staffing of youth offending teams is decided by local authorities and their partner agencies, but I can tell the hon. Gentleman that between 2009-10 and 2010-11 there were 835 fewer posts, which includes volunteers, part-time and temporary staff. That amounts to a 4% reduction. Over the same period, the number of young people supervised by youth offending teams dropped by 20%

I thank the Minister for his answer. Over the last 10 years we have seen a 25% reduction in the number of young people on the secure estate or in prison, and over the same period youth crime dropped by almost a third. The Youth Justice Board’s focus on young people has been a remarkable success and, thankfully, the board has been retained. Can the Minister explain why his predecessor tried to abolish it?

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman about the success of youth offending teams. It is the people on those teams—a mix from different agencies and organisations, working together—who are delivering the improvements he describes. It is not the case that the Government tried to abolish the youth offending teams. The Youth Justice Board is something different, but in any event the Youth Justice Board will stay, and we hope to work very closely with it to ensure that all the good things he has described continue.