Following the Government’s announcement today (Thursday 11 June 2020) that Probation Service will take control of unpaid work and key programmes Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings has released the below statement:
“I welcome the decision of the government to bring all probation activity under the umbrella of the National Probation Service, including unpaid work programmes that until now have been delivered by private companies and voluntary bodies.
“This completes a painfully long U-turn on the part of the government and an abandonment of one of the many ideologically driven failures of the former minister, Chris Grayling.
“The probation service should never have been broken in two with high level offenders being managed by the National Probation Service and low level offenders by private Community Rehabilitation Companies.
“The government was repeatedly warned by probation officers, trade unions and the inspectors that this would not work and was not working.
“During this time re-offending rates soared by 32%.
“This is no criticism of those who worked in the private companies. They gave of their best and there is much experience and expertise that they have that will need to be taken into the new National Probation Service when it fully takes over next year.
“I also welcome the Secretary of State’s decision that there must be closer working between the National Probation Service and Police and Crime Commissioners, something that we already have in South Yorkshire.”
Probation was split into two in 2014 by Chris Grayling with high level offenders being managed by the National Probation Service and low level offenders by private Community Rehabilitation Companies.