A senior Brent councillor championed staff supporting young offenders in the borough following a recent government inspection.

Cllr Mili Patel, responsible for safeguarding, early help and social care at Brent Council, praised the council department working with young people caught up in the criminal justice system.

It comes following a report by the probation inspectorate, which marked Brent’s youth offending services (YOS) as ‘Good’.

Cllr Patel said this grade – the second-highest available – represents the efforts of the department to provide as many prospects as possible to young offenders.

She said: “All young people in Brent should have every opportunity to succeed.

“It’s great to see the hard work by our YOS team has been recognised including their approach in supporting young people make good decisions on their future even those who temporarily stray off the right path.

“It’s a credit to our dedicated staff to have been able to achieve these outcomes.

“The council can always do more and I’m confident that the council is heading in the right direction and doing the best we can for the children and young people in the borough.”

Inspectors noted that the borough has several challenges, with “serious youth violence” and issues relating to county lines drug dealing.

They were generally impressed with the work in Brent – YOS staff were praised for their ability to build positive relationships to stop young people committing offences.

However, they suggested more support could be given to those with high welfare needs to avoid criminalising them unnecessarily.

Chief Inspector of probation Justin Russell said children and young people who commit lower-level offences can be handled outside the court system.

He suggested that the council reviews its approach to ensure it has adequate capacity to deal with such cases.