A failing youth offending service has been praised by inspectors for a swift turnaround in its performance.
Portsmouth’s YOT achieved the maximum four stars for 'protecting children and young people' and 'ensuring the sentence is served'.
During the last two years the number of young people handed custodial sentences has fallen from 22 to six.
The YOT was re-inspected this year by HMI Probation after receiving a poor report in 2013. It received three stars for reducing re-offending, protecting the public, governance and partnerships and interventions to reduce re-offending.
Lin Hinnigan, chief executive of the Youth Justice Board (YJB), said: ‘I am very pleased to see the good progress made by Portsmouth Youth Offending Team. The YJB has worked closely with the local partnership, providing support for performance improvement activity, as well as ensuring an action plan was in place and being delivered.
‘We will continue to work with the management board to ensure momentum is maintained, so we can build on the good work already done in order to improve the outcomes for children and young people in Portsmouth.’
Cllr Neill Young, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for children and young people said: ‘This result is a real credit to the team and broader partnership who have worked incredibly hard to improve outcomes for young people.
‘The inspectors have been clearly impressed with the relationship not only between the YOT and young people, but also the effective joint working with Children’s Social Care, the police and other colleagues.
‘We understand parents and carers need to be involved more and we also want to increase the number of young people taking up employment, training and/or education.
‘Our priority is to support young people and prevent reoffending and I’m delighted that we’re heading in the right direction.’