Saturday, 14 July 2012

Turkeys Welcome Christmas!

So, Friday the thirteenth was the date chosen to announce to the world the largest ever privatisation of probation services in England and Wales. The contract to provide the whole of Community Payback in London for four years from October has been awarded to a partnership between Serco and the London Probation Trust, having seen off cheeky Essex in partnership with Sodexo and Mitie with disgraced A4E. Thoroughly disgraced G4S didn't bid for this contract, but the Ministry of Justice has apparently confirmed that 60% of the total probation budget will be up for grabs by the autumn, so there's plenty of time for them to get on board yet. 

Seeing as LPT is part of the winning bid, they really had no alternative but to welcome the news and sound all excited about the prospects of saving money, oh and delivering much better services of course. But the warm congratulations from the Probation Association and Probation Chiefs Association must be seen as a bit of last ditch sycophancy to try and get the government to change it's mind, or at least pretend they have at least bothered to read the submissions from the recent consultation exercise. The rumours I've heard say they haven't taken a blind bit of notice and intend to carry on preventing Probation Trusts from being both commissioners and providers of services.  

Just for the record, and so I can join the likes of HM Chief Inspector of Probation in being able to say 'we told you so', if the government persists in farming out the supervision of low and medium risk offenders, it will all go wrong because 80% of Serious Further Offences are committed by clients in these groups. 

So, all you private companies that have regard for your public image, give it a bit of thought as you burn the midnight oil cooking-up those clever bids for all those lucrative probation contracts - headlines like 'man murdered while on supervision to G4S' or possibly 'serial rapist was on licence to Sodexo' or even 'wife killed when supervised by Mitie'. You get the gist.     


  1. I am so glad that you are back. I noticed the other day that G4S letterheads carry a logo - goes something like, G4S Keeping the World Safe - they can't even keep a small area of East London safe for two weeks and so the world... well, that's a leap, even for these deluded, self satisfied lunatics, who think crime, like a stain on the carpet will be erased with the application of an all purpose cleanser! I despair! I hope their blatant lies and lack of any accountability to the Government, who put their trust (fools) in them, render them redundant - literally!

  2. 'G4S Keeping the World Safe'

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *pauses for breath* hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahah

  3. TheUrbaneGorilla17 July 2012 at 23:16

    A concern is the way Trusts are getting into bed with private providers in "partnerships". Inevitably then, when something goes wrong, the private provider will say "not me guv" and the Trust can be blamed. There is an emerging pattern of the public sector bailing out the private sector's cock-ups, from banks to G4S so, if we assume that past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour,we can predict what's coming. But can Trust management?

  4. Hi Jim, I've just written a similar blog post - One significant issue for me is that risk is dynamic! Low and medium risk offenders often lead the most chaotic lives and their risk status can change so quickly. How will this be managed in an environment where end to end management is currently so important....will they be passed between SERCO/G4S etc. and probation as their risk levels change? And who will ultimately be held accountable during each period, or indeed the crossover period? The mind boggles and it's a disaster waiting to happen.