Just when you think things can't get much worse for probation, blimey they do! No job advert. No extensive trawl for the best talent available. No inspiring leader for the new National Probation Service in the wake of Mike Maiden's speedy departure. No. Instead, the Ministry of Justice have shuffled over Colin Allars, the current civil servant with the title director of probation at MoJ/Noms HQ. According to the minister Jeremy Wright in the official press release:-
“I am delighted that Colin Allars has accepted the challenge to lead the NPS in England. His experience and passion for the service make him well qualified to lead this new and critical body.”
We are told that:-
Colin Allars is currently the board director responsible for probation trusts and contracted services. He has experience of probation both as a former director of offender management in the South West and as an agency board member responsible for probation for the last two and a half years.
He seems a particularly uninspiring choice, judging by this potted CV from back when he was the DOM for the South West:-
Colin started work as a mechanical engineer at Rolls Royce, then moved to the Prison Service and undertook roles in technical, design and production management. Retrained as a food hygiene and safety officer and undertook policy work on market testing. Later became the Prison Service’s Head of Pay Policy then Head of Pay and Industrial Relations. Moved to the Home Office as Secretary to the Management Board and headed up the Performance and Strategy Unit. Switching across to a policy role in IND, Led preparation of a White Paper and then delivery of the 2002 immigration legislation before becoming Head of Enforcement in IND. After undertaking the EU delivery role, Became a director in pre-agency NOMS then undertook various corporate service roles until becoming interim Director of Capacity in the new agency, his most recent role.
His comment upon accepting his new position is hardly going to help enthuse a dispirited potential workforce in the brave new world being ushered in as part of the TR omnishambles:-
“Probation has a critical part to play in protecting the public and reducing reoffending. I look forward to taking on this important role, keeping communities safe from serious offenders.”
We're all doomed!