Brent chosen to showcase excellent work combatting youth offending

10 May 2019

The Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke MP, visited Brent River College in Kingsbury yesterday (May 9) to see some of the outstanding work being delivered by Brent's Youth Offending Service.

The visit was part of a Government-wide "week of action" on serious violence following the Serious Violence Summit which was held in April. The Youth Justice Board identified Brent Council as an authority where exceptional work is being done to prevent youth offending.

David Gauke MP was welcomed by Vivien Dean, the Headteacher of Brent River College, Brent Council's Director of Children's Services, Gail Tolley, and the council's Chief Executive, Carolyn Downs, before meeting some of the pupils who attend the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). The Secretary of State took part in activities led by the Youth Offending Service, and other Brent based organisations who are instrumental to the work to reduce youth crime in Brent.

The number of permanent exclusions in Brent has fallen from 66 in 2015-16 to 34 in the 2017-18 academic year. The number of first time offenders entering the youth offending service is also falling thanks to great cross-organisational diversion work between the police and the Youth Offending Service.

Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke MP, said: "It is vital that we work together to protect children at risk of being involved in crime. I was delighted to visit Brent Youth Offending Service to hear from young people and dedicated staff about the positive work they are doing to help tackle serious violence in the area."

Gail Tolley, Brent Council's Director of Children's Services, said: "Supporting vulnerable young people and helping reduce serious youth violence is one of the most important jobs the council does so I was pleased to talk the Secretary of State through the outstanding work our teams do alongside partners.

"The staff at Brent River College do an excellent job delivering a range of practical measures from building self-regulation and resilience to mentoring and other activities aimed at reducing serious youth violence.

"The young people were also impressed that the Secretary of State spent time hearing about the positive impact of this work directly from them."