Dr Alan Billings, spoke at the regional meeting of the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers in Leeds on Monday 13 April 2015.

He congratulated them on their success in contributing towards reducing the number of young people held in Youth Offender Institutions and pointed out that this was in sharp contrast to the numbers in adult prisons.

Dr Billings said: “When I was first a member of the Youth Justice Board, over ten years ago, the number detained in juvenile prisons was in excess of 3,500. This month it fell to under 1,000 for the first time.

“The downside of this is that the young people local Youth Offending Teams now deal with are likely to be the most troublesome as well as the most troubled. It also means that with the closure of so many youth facilities, many young offenders are having to be placed further and further from home, which does not always help with their rehabilitation.”

The Commissioner urged YOT managers to align their objectives with those of their local Police and Crime Commissioner’s priorities. That way they could together have maximum impact on bearing down on crime and anti-social behaviour.