Latin American delegation visit Barking and Dagenham’s youth offending service

Cllr Laila Butt, cabinet member for crime and enforcement, with council officers and the Latin Ameri

Cllr Laila Butt, cabinet member for crime and enforcement, with council officers and the Latin American delegation. - Credit: Archant

What attracts people to Barking and Dagenham?

The thriving local business environment, the many parks or perhaps even its rich cultural heritage.

A Latin American delegation travelled more than 6,000 miles this week to learn firsthand about the work of the borough’s youth offending service.

The group comprised of representatives from Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile and Mexico and visited as part of a four-day visit to Europe, learning about juvenile justice systems and good practices.

Cllr Laila Butt, cabinet member for crime and enforcement, welcomed the group who arrived on the recommendations of a similar delegation from Panama.

“We are proud to have held successful visits from countries across the globe and are thrilled that other countries look to Barking and Dagenham as a place in the UK where they feel they can explore practices and systems,” said Cllr Butt.

The visit helped the group find out more about administering juvenile justice and the use of alternatives to detention, restorative justice and introduce them more generally to European processes.

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The trip follows the visits of similar delegations from Japan, Sweden and the European Union in recent years.

Cllr Butt added: “The youth offending service helps to instill in our young people a sense of social responsibility and encourages them to play an active role in making our borough a safer and more resilient place while helping young people who have committed offences to raise their aspirations.”

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