Blackpool's Youth Offending Team branded 'inadequate' following inspection

Blackpool's Youth Offending Team (YOT) has been branded as  '˜inadequate' in a report into the council-run team.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 11:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:13 pm
Blackpool's Youth Offending Team has been called 'inadequate'
Blackpool's Youth Offending Team has been called 'inadequate'

An inspection by HM Inspectorate of Probation into the department found a “difficult set of circumstances and widespread poor practice.”

Inspectors also found a recent history of organisational changes in the YOT had not been managed well and had a “detrimental effect on the delivery of services” which affected staff morale.

Neil Jack, chief executive of Blackpool Council, said the report is “disappointing” but inspectors could see issues were being looked at.

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Neil Jack from Blackpool Council

He added: “It is also important to note that during the inspection no young people or the public were found to be at risk as a result of the issues raised.

Mr Jack said the team plays a vital role shaping the future of young residents in Blackpool and the team has been has seen “devastating cuts like the rest of the council” but added:

“However that is not an excuse. We know that we can do better and we will do.”

Mr Jack said the board and structure of the team has changed. An interim experienced manager has also been appointed.

He said: “I am confident that the changes we have already made will have an impact and the recommendations made by the inspectors will also be actioned.”

The report said the team was inadequate or requires improvement in all areas.

It also found the resort has three of the most deprived areas in the country and its 13 privately run children’s homes was a “disproportionately large number” for a small authority. Dame

Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation, said: “The inspection found a difficult set of circumstances and widespread poor practice.

“Blackpool’s youth and indeed all living and working in Blackpool need and deserve much better youth offending services than this. It cannot be right that services have been neglected in the way that they have.

“I welcome recent signs of change but it is not enough. I trust that our inspection report and recommendations will provide a fresh impetus.”