By Audlem reporter - 22nd September 2013 6:07am
Praise for Cheshire East's growing success in cutting the numbers of young offenders has been warmly welcomed by Audlem ward councillor Rachel Bailey.
A top watchdog has praised the 'high standard' of the council's youth offending service as new figures also show it is helping curb teenage crime.
Audlem councillor Rachel Bailey, cabinet member in charge of Children and Family Services, said it was a 'fantastic result' for the council's youth service staff.
She said: "It is a credit to the real commitment of our youth offending service staff in ensuring that all our teenagers get opportunities to make a positive contribution. Effective responses to young offenders are essential for keeping our communities safe."
Latest figures show the offending rate of youngsters in Cheshire East fell markedly over the past year.
The percentage of youngsters aged 10-17 charged with offences stands at 0.7% compared to 1.1% in the previous 12 months and against a national average of 1.3%.
The number of first offenders also fell very sharply by 34% over the same period, down from 644 offences to 438.
A key role of the Council's Youth Offending Service is to identify youngsters at risk and diverting them away from anti-social behaviour and crime.
The independent HM Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP) report comprehensively praised the council team's core work of reducing offending, protecting the public and safeguarding young offenders.
Tony Crane, the council's Director of Children's Services, added: "I am delighted at this excellent outcome for the youth offending service. It is well deserved by a team that have worked hard to make continuous improvements to their practise."
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