Home news Oakhill staff 'cannot adequately control' young offenders

Oakhill staff 'cannot adequately control' young offenders

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A young offenders centre where staff cannot “adequately control” detainees has been rated inadequate by inspectors. Ofsted said there had been an increase in assaults at Oakhill Secure Training Centre, near Milton Keynes.In March, an officer suffered serious injuries after being attacked by detainees on a football pitch.G4S, which runs the centre, said it was “taking a number of urgent actions” to address matters raised in the report.Oakhill caters for up to 80 boys aged between 12 and 18.Inspectors said it was operating at “near maximum capacity” but staff cannot “adequately control” the boys.’Threatened to kill'”Inspectors saw occasions when poor, often intimidating, behaviour, such as shouting, swearing and kicking property, went unchallenged,” the report said.”This, combined with the inconsistent application of rules, sanctions and incentives, undermines relationships and leaves young people and staff vulnerable.”During an unannounced visit between 26 September and 6 October, inspectors found many staff “lacked confidence and knowledge” of how to manage detainees.The report added workers had failed to analyse poor behaviour, including an incident where a boy threatened to kill a female member of staff.Inspectors said managers did not consider whether this was a credible threat, despite the detainee’s murder conviction.’Support for staff’Between March and August 2017, there were 330 assaults on staff and detainees, compared with 200 in the previous reporting period between July and December 2016.Inspectors from Ofsted, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons and the Care Quality Commission made various recommendations to help improve the centre.These included adding more CCTV in areas detainees said they felt “unsafe” in such as stairwells.G4S said its immediate priorities were to “ensure the safety, dignity and wellbeing” of detainees, as well as guaranteeing “appropriate training and support for staff”.It has previously tried to sell its operating contract for the centre, but was unable to find a buyer.A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “This report is completely unacceptable and we have taken urgent action to address the concerns raised by Ofsted.”It says it is investing £64m to reform youth custody and increase staffing across the UK.
Source: BBC Beds