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Call for better safety in young offenders institutions

Credit: pa

Action is urgently needed to make sure children and young people detained in youth offending institutions and secure training centres are safe according to council leaders in the region.

In July, a damning report from the HM Inspector of Prisons found that not a single establishment inspected in England and Wales was safe to hold children and young people. In just five years, the number of children and young people self-harming had more than doubled, with self-harm rates running at 8.9 incidents per 100 children compared with 4.1 in 2011.

The Chief Inspector described the speed of decline as “staggering” and issued the shocking warning that current conditions made a future tragedy “inevitable”.

Councils take their responsibility toward child safety extremely seriously, and work hard to ensure that children and young people are never put in situations that would put them at risk. There is no other situation in which children and young people would be placed into environments that are known to be unsafe, and youth custody should be no exception.

– Richard Watts, Local Government Authority, Children and Young People Board