FEWER young people in Barnsley are entering the youth justice system after first time entrants fell by almost a half, according to a council report.

The report shows that the number of ten to 17-year-old first time entrants has fallen by 48 per cent, from 117 in June 2015 to 61 in June 2017.

This is Barnsley’s best ever performance and is also below the national and regional averages.

The council says the reduction is a sign its strong partnership arrangements with South Yorkshire Police and other agencies is working well - helping put young people who are taking risks or experiencing difficulties on the right path at an early stage, diverting them away from the criminal justice system.

Coun Alan Gardiner, cabinet spokesman, said: “This report highlights some outstanding areas of performance. We said we’d improve access to early help so that people can achieve their potential. These figures show we’re delivering on that promise, and it is very encouraging to such a significant reduction in the number of young people entering the youth justice system.”