Saturday, 23 November 2013

Omnishambles Update 28

I know discussing the misfortunes of G4S and Serco will not please at least one reader, but the news that Chris Grayling really had no alternative but to halt the proposed transfer of the three South Yorkshire prisons to Serco is excellent and confirms that the TR omnishambles is in serious trouble.

In any conflict situation misinformation is a valuable weapon, and the MoJ saying that the enquiries into both companies will produce a result by Christmas is pure wishful thinking, now effectively confirmed by Serco losing the prison contract. I notice that the Daily Mail thisismoney column reports that analysts feel both of the big boys are out of the game until 2015:-

Grayling said the ‘delay and uncertainty’ caused by these investigations into Serco’s government work meant the group could not begin running the prisons. It comes as analysts warned that Serco and rival G4S could be frozen out of government work until 2015.

Robin Speakman at Shore Capital blamed political wrangling ahead of the general election, which is in May 2015, and next year’s Scottish independence vote.
‘It is likely to be well in calendar year of 2015 before earnings momentum begins to rebuild for these companies,’ he said.
Analyst Hector Forsythe at Oreil said: ‘The biggest threat to Serco is Serco itself,’ adding the company’s business ‘has hit a wall’.

Serco has undergone a radical overhaul to try and win back government trust.
‘The rational response by the government should be to ensure that Serco is viable supplier to maximise competition in bidding,’ Forsythe added.
But he said he feared more shortcomings being exposed by current probes, which would ‘make embracing Serco’s rehabilitation that much harder for the Government’.

This all comes on top of the recent BBC2 Newsnight investigation into the London Community Payback scandal involving Serco and it's rumoured they'd like to get out of it as it's not proving financially worthwhile for them. Maybe they got into it as a bit of a 'loss leader' in order to try and win the bigger TR contracts?

Whatever, like G4S, they now have the significant costs associated with reputational damage to contend with which affects investor confidence and ultimately share price. Michael Spurr might be telling people that 'TR must proceed in order not to prolong uncertainty' but in reality the need for a plan 'B' grows daily.

As ever-more colleagues start receiving reassignment notices, I see that Humberside Napo have been quick to register a local dispute and General Secretary Ian Lawrence tweeted yesterday this concerning Unison:-

Unison now moving to Industrial Action - very welcome indeed! MoJ on the ropes after disastrous week for Grayling (again).Save Probation!

Finally, Napo e-mailed the following to all members yesterday:-

Dear Members,

Important information and facts about the failure to agree at NNC

At the conclusion of the NNC/SCCOG negotiations on 20th November the MoJ stated that it will instruct Trusts to implement arrangements to automatically assign staff to the National Probation Service or to the local CRC, or to facilitate staff expressing an interest in joining either arm. Arrangements have not been agreed by the recognised trade unions who have registered a failure to agree.
It is now probable that some Trusts will follow the MoJ instruction. We have re-iterated earlier advice to branches to immediately register local disputes in tandem with Unison and a model letter is being sent to Branches today. It is hoped that more news will follow next week as to Unison’s position regarding a National Dispute. Both Napo and Unison are also referring the failure to agree at NNC to the Conciliation and Advisory Service (ACAS). SCOOP/GMB are reserving their position following the threat to withdraw the VER scheme.

Individual Grievances

In addition to a collective local dispute Napo members are strongly advised to register individual grievances as soon as they receive notice of an assignment or a request to provide an expression of interest. This grievance should be submitted regardless of whether you believe you will be assigned to the NPS or CRC. It can also cover staff who will have anticipated seeking to express an interest in either the NPS or CRC.
Napo is asking members to register individual grievances for three important reasons –
a) At present there are too many uncertainties relating to future terms and conditions to safely accept or apply for any specific roles in either the NPS or CRC's. Despite the MoJ propaganda concerns include: conditions of service, job roles and responsibilities, staffing levels and risk of redundancies post transfer, and protections supposedly guaranteed under COSOP. Specifics relating to these will be included in comprehensive guidance to be issued early next week.

b) The staff transfer assignment process imposed by the MoJ does not include all of the safeguards and protections provisionally agreed during NNC/SCCOG negotiations with the PA and MoJ employers' side over many months, and therefore the MoJ's instructions are not fit for purpose.
c) The proposed split and subsequent share sale is dangerous for staff and the public. By registering a grievance you are making clear your personal concern about the transfer and legally affording yourself some protection. You’re also registering your support for our ongoing campaign against the Transforming Rehabilitation shambles by forcing Trusts to address your relevant concerns and demonstrating to MP's, peers and the public the strength of feeling against the plans amongst professionals and those closest to probation.
Early next week detailed guidance will be issued on how to structure a grievance. Essentially this will cover all situations: – assignment to the NPS; allocation to the CRC; or being denied the opportunity to make a considered, informed choice where one could have been expected to exist.

It is important that your grievance reflects your specific concerns relevant to your situation. It isn't appropriate for Napo to construct the grievance for you. Firstly, doing so would weaken its relevance when the local Trust has to consider it. Secondly, the MoJ will, we anticipate, seek to pressure Trusts into dismissing the grievances by claiming they are merely part of a collective action by Napo. If the grievances can be individually separated this is much more difficult for the MoJ to sustain.

Why this is vital to the Napo campaign

As stated above, the primary purpose of the grievance is to register your valid concerns about Trusts being forced to do a reassignment. However, you will also understand the reason why the MoJ is seeking to impose a system that everyone knows isn't safe or complete. Without the assignments being pushed through to meet the commercial timetable, this sale to potential providers is more difficult, more dangerous, and more unsustainable. By legitimately registering an individual grievance about your concerns on the allocation process you are also directly contributing to the aim of frustrating the sell-off process and thereby helping to scare off potential bidders. This will not go unnoticed by MP's, Peers, Parliamentary Committees, the media and the public.

Sticking with Napo

We want to take this opportunity to again express our appreciation or your support so far in our influential campaign to save the probation service, and in anticipation of your ongoing solidarity with Colleagues. Further guidance and support will be issued shortly to supplement this initial advice.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Lawrence                      Tom Rendon
General Secretary               National Chair


  1. It will be interesting to see if Napo members respond to the call to register individual grievances alongside a collective grievance. Given there was such a low turnout in the recent ballot, it's unlikely there will be a dizzying number of individual grievances. If there isn't an avalanche of grievances, the response from the MoJ will be that the majority of your members are not aggrieved by the prospect of TR. Attempts to negotiate at a national level have failed. ACAS is a pipe dream. Promised protections cannot be delivered through a national agreement. The strategy all along has been to do a deal which accounts for Unison's quietism on the industrial front, whereas Napo tried but could not hold out against the clamour for a ballot. I think the strategy has been all wrong from the outset. As soon as TR was muted, that was the moment to get apocalyptic about the threats ahead, the moment to be stressing the randomness of job losses and the lack of job security for survivors. There has been too much pragmatism on the union side. That's okay if you are negotiating with pragmatists, but not when you are facing ideologues, who regard reasonableness as weakness. I don't know if the outcome would have been any different to the one that looms, but there has been a lack of activism and we will never know if it would have a made a difference in our neo-liberal universe. I suspect not.

  2. I feel very conflicted about napo'd guidance. I detest TR plans. I walked out on strike. I stood on a picket line every moment I should've been at work. However, I do not want to end up in a crc mostly due to the nature of the work. I have a lot of experience working with high risk clients and especially men who sexually offend. If I dont make a choice and follow Napo guidance will I be steamrollered into work I don't want to do (not that I trust anything in this process)

  3. This Blog has now been referenced in a comment to an article about out sourcing in The Financial Times also referenced in the Napo Forum, which some folk read whilst withholding their comments.

    Andrew S Hatton

    1. Thanks for all your efforts Andrew.



  4. Straying slightly off topic, but you might enjoy this Jim.

    1. Serco is shifting 4,500 of its smaller suppliers on to a new procurement system that has seen some pay £500 to be able to get contracts for the support services group.The suppliers have until November 19 to sign up to the system, run by supplier management company Achilles, with 700 already doing so and at least 15pc expected by Serco to pay fees.

      News of the change in Serco's procurement policy follows the FTSE 100 group's dramatic decision last week to apologise to its 193 main suppliers for demanding a 2.5pc cash rebate to help it meet Government efficiency targets.
      The about-turn came 24 hours after The Sunday Telegraph revealed that Serco's finance director, Andrew Jenner, had issued the cash demand and that Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister leading the Government's negotiations with its main suppliers, was furious with the decision.
      It can now be revealed that Serco's main suppliers took the letter seriously and that two paid the rebate demanded on work carried out for Serco in the first half of the year - a period that is not covered by the coalition Government's £800m 2010 savings plans.

      Serco, which runs prisons, schools and military, nuclear and scientific facilities for the Government, paid the two suppliers back in full last week.
      Serco said this weekend that it was using Achilles because it needed more information about the suppliers it had inherited from existing public services contracts .
      It said only "high-risk" suppliers now had to pay a fee to work for Serco and these represented around 15pc of the 4,500 total.
      A spokesman said: "Registration is free for the vast majority of suppliers, whether small or large, with Serco covering the cost. Suppliers who provide higher risk services do have to pay a fee to Achilles to cover the cost of necessary checks. Serco receives none of these fees."
      He added: "Serco has always been committed to supporting SMEs as part of our supply chain. In September we reviewed all of our suppliers and worked with Achilles to reclassify 17 SMEs as lower risk."
      However, extracts of letters sent to suppliers by Serco and Achilles and seen by this newspaper show that Achilles is charging fees to register and vet some small, low-risk companies .
      One letter to a supplier carrying out office-based work for Serco stated: "The required level of registration for your company by Serco is as follows: SourceSelect small supplier registration £250 + VAT and Verify Category 'A' Health and Safety Assessment £250 + VAT."
      The supplier, who has paid the fees, said: "I have never, ever, come across something like this before. The Government has not asked Serco to pay to be a supplier so why have I got to pay."

  5. So, if those of us who wish to fight this and follow NAPO advice to register an individual grievance do so and we match the number of redundancies needed to make this work, is that job done then? Will the NAPO activists effectively be making ourselves redundant ? Will all of our colleagues not taking such action merely be transferred into the available posts ?Has ANYONE an answer to this please ?

    1. I think when it comes to grievances individuals often have an anxiety that they will be punished for sticking their head above the parapet. If this is an inhibition then I would say overcome it. As for the activists becoming conspicuous by raising a grievance, I would not worry. The Trusts are not GCHQ but they know the personalities in their workforces. They know the 'strong' personalities, the ones who ask 'why' questions. So the usual suspects will put in grievances along with some new faces who have been radicalised in recent times, but, sadly, the majority won't bother. There is perhaps one advantage to being labelled an activist: if there is a generous voluntary redundancy scheme, then the usual suspects are likely to score highly and be offered a deal to go.

  6. Big demo today by NAPO at Jeremy Wrights constituency in Kenilworth. Mr Wright took 3 A4 files away containing letters of concern but i doubt he will take much notice.

  7. I suggest that question is directed at Napo Officers, perhaps via Twitter or a comment on the General Secretary's Napolog /Blog or via branch National Executive Committee reps.

    Presumably Napo policy is, if there are to be compulsory redundancies - which I think are unlikely for Napo members who are rarely above SPO grade, there should be a properly worked out scheme, perhaps based on length of service, nearness to retirement or other logical criteria, but ideally any redundancies will be voluntary with terms that are attractive enough to those the MOJ believe they can do without - seems to me TR will be such a shambles they will need all the experienced staff who are prepared to put up with it.

    I fear that may not be the case for senior managers and admin and other support staff, though I expect most PSOs will be safe because they will need staff with client contact experience, they are the heart of probation work - going back to before 1907.

    Andrew Hatton

  8. I agree with anon 11.14. As a Napo Branch Chair I am struggling to see the point of using the grievances procedure as a means of stopping what is essentially a govt imposed direction. I am not sure as an issue it even meets the eligibility citeria, but this may vary from trust to trust depending on the wording of the local policy. I am a staunch activist, always have been, have done as directed so far but have watched with dismay as time has gone on, as to what has happened (see my last posting which JIm referred to yesterday). I agree with Netnipper, the pragmatic approach got us nowhere and the failure of UNISON to stand shoulder to shoulder with NAPO from the off seriously undermined our efforts and they must take responsibility for that. Going for strike action now UNISON? - too little, too late in my view. We've a Branch meeting this week; we'll discuss it and the Members will decide for themselves as to what is in their best interests at this point. As Chair I feel like we've just been dumped on locally and are now expected to fight the battle individually- this is not how I understand collectivism or the role of a trade union. Many of us feel the CEOs/Boards etc could have done more to stop this etc etc, but ultimately our fight is not with them, our grievance is not with them. Still a work in progress thinking wise, so any opinions gratefully received. PS I say nothing here that I won't be saying to a national Official later in the week when we meet.
    Deb - sorry keep forgetting to sign off. Am using a kindle, however am long past caring about anonymity.

    1. I am sorry a local Napo official feels that way.

      I am not a current practitioner, so won't debate the rights & wrongs of various policies - Napo's national office is probably still in the recovery phase after real turmoil for several years that it seems the rest of us were not aware of before it was too late to do anything to prevent or minimise the difficulties.

      However, introducing TR so the outsourcing contracts are in place and not easily interfere-able with by the next Government is a real race against time. The general election will almost certainly be on 7th May 2015, so to start the full blown contracts any later than Oct 2014 (the current planned date) is almost too late,

      If nothing else individual grievances, which are a right for staff being reassigned, have to be considered individually which will take time. That time taken could be the factor that causes a postponement. A new Labour led government, will not introduce the same scheme.

      There is also a long way to go with parliamentary opposition, which can also delay the process. The current bill has a section, part 1 that prevents reorganisation in the way it is now going ahead and the Government will need a fair bit of parliamentary resources to amend that. So TR is far from a done deal.

      Anyone who is not in favour should use whatever opportunities they personally have to the greater resistance effort, for the safety of the public AND public probation staff's jobs.

      Andrew Hatton

    2. Andrew,
      I'm certainly not advocating that we all just roll over. Am personally very excited (is that the right word) that the growing concerns around Serco,s financial mismanagement are fast taking on the proportions of a runaway train which could well derail the whole thing. TR is not a done deal and we'll be saying as much to our local Tory MP when he visits our Branch in Dec. However I think that CG halting the whole process isn't going to hinge on whether colleagues have expressed an interest in which camp they would prefer to be in, it will be the bigger stuff that derails this and that's where our energies ought to be directed at present, whilst still keeping up with work to rule/ strikes - collective responses where it is harder to pick people off. But like I say, thinking still a work in progress so thanks for your views.

    3. Thanks Deb, I am VERY grateful to Branch officials who will not be getting extra facility time but are almost certainly receiving umpteen more repeat questions from ordinary members who are now realising the magnitude of the TR danger.

      AND you have to keep the day job going amidst what I read of staff already (understandably) leaving and existing excessive workloads which pbn folk treat as normal - hence the work to rule is perhaps a good idea if only it supports folk not work so damned hard as usual - a fact that grinds numbers of us down, because we think as we have kept it up for a year or so we can go on doing so, but life is not like that as non work events take their toll.

      So thanks to all who are now performing a vital service at keeping public safe even though at least 95% (IMO) are ignorant of the importance of our work.

      Andrew Hatton

  9. I like the tweet by Sally Lewis (@CEOLewis)
    20/11/2013 23:06
    Company failed to "tell the difference between right and wrong" But want to deliver rehabilitation services?

  10. Jim,

    GLN branch meeting yesterday...packed room heard from John McDonell MP/F Crook & Napo AGS... clearly much anxiety, anger & uncertainty around pending changes ..but some salient points...

    1/ Parliamentary HR Cmmt critical report on ORB this wk..

    2/ Grayling's forced decision NOT to pursue privatisation of 3 prisons ( as above)..

    3/ Labour front bench mounting opp to TR - JM stated that until 3 days before debate on TR - Labour had planned to abstain...change of approach based on efficacy & evidence of TR O/shambles.. Now commitment to ' restore ' PS!

    4/ NN programme - S/LPT ( not barnstorming!) but indicative of changing popular mood on outsourcing.. PAC - excoriate -change -gentle grilling of privateers..

    5/ Egregious examples of faltering outsourcing -Serco-Health- Atos -Disability...that appear to have seen shift of gear & mobilised resitance..

    6/ LDems - approaches made to NC & dawning appreciation that TR could begin to unravel & associated risk to credibility pre-election..

    7/ Sheer ineptitude of MoJ - at this wks ' negotiations' Napo reps requested for the ** time - copy of Equality Impact Assessment- document provided at the 11 th hr.. when queried - MoJ reps - ' Grayling had this all the time , but did not want to share it!!!!

    8 / Unison ( belatedly ) have mustered support for mandate for industrial action...

    9/ 2 Amendments to ORB - HF using his ' contacts' to max impact...

    10/ ' Soft ' Tory MP's - behind the scenes some mounting concerns at the implications on marginal .. if public safety fears become more pronounced..

    11/ F Crook invited colleagues to send any scraps of info' to her that she might put out to media that would have quick fire impact..

    12/ If t/table can be stalled due to proposed actions & comments from tob table - already speculation that slippage to ' end of year ' - 2014 from MoJ sources.. with electoral buffer - 6 mths - TR could be scuppered??
    Appreciate that his is brief snapshot from one meeting & having spent 20 yrs as a PO - I do not underestimate that toil & moil ' that colleagues are having to endure....

    But the resounding message from MP's + Gen Sec... ' The Fight is still v much on' ..

    Hope this assists..



    1. Is there anyone out there who could perhaps advise as to the inappropriate behaviour of the MoJ and Grayling in particular? Surely there's grounds for scrutiny by, perhaps, the Parliamentary Standards Committee? Or the Public Accounts Committee? Or the Justice Committee? If reports are accurate, we've had:

      * protracted negotiations over many months involving meetings between MoJ, union and other officials
      * numerous documents being disseminated by both sides
      * industrial action
      * 'brinksmanship' (aka piss poor behaviour by bullies) by MoJ officials in disrupting NNC negotiations which, if in a criminal court, would lead to contempt charges at least - is there not a similar charge to be levelled in employment law?
      * negligent behaviour by the SoS (Grayling) in refusing to release key documents

      The cost of this childish and selfish behaviour by the MoJ/SoS must be phenomenal - how much have the NNC negotiations cost the public purse so far? How much did the industrial action cost the nation? How much has been spent on associated costs?

      It cost me a day's pay - can I sue the SoS for loss of earnings plus damages for the psychological trauma caused by his actions? Those actions being that the Christopher Grayling, Secretary of State for Justice, intentionally, knowingly and purposefully withheld a document that was fundamental to the future of many thousands of public employees; behaviour that ultimately led to industrial action, and that action might not have been necessary had the document been shared? Any pro bono offers from our friends at the bar?

      By with-holding the risk assessment document simply because he didn't want to share it, could Grayling be regarded as having been unfit for office by placing the public at risk?

    2. herewith the link to point 1 in Mike's submission above:

    3. and here is the Index Page with links to all areas of consideration by the the Committee of the OR Bill (the above link was specifically about "reform of probation services"):

    4. This page might attract interest (the report was ordered to be printed on 12 November 2013):

      Some excerpts include:

      12. We are not satisfied with the information and analysis provided by the Government in relation to the Bill's compatibility with other relevant international standards. We expect human rights memoranda to go beyond assertions that all relevant human rights obligations have been considered, and we repeat our general recommendation that Departments should provide detailed information explaining why the Government is satisfied about the compatibility of a Bill with relevant international human rights obligations, not just the ECHR, in their human rights memoranda.

      We are disappointed that we did not receive any additional information from the Department about the Government's amendment on women offenders, and we repeat our general recommendation that Departments should, as good practice, provide us with a supplementary human rights memorandum on Government amendments with significant human rights implications, such as the Government amendment relating to women offenders in this Bill.

      18. On 19 November 2012, the Prime Minister announced that the Government is "calling time on equality impact assessments".[41] However, the legal duty established in Brown remains for public authorities to demonstrate that they have had 'due regard' to their equality obligations.

      30. The provision of information by the Government in relation to its consideration of the Bill's impact on protected groups has been piecemeal, lacking in detail, and has been produced only in response to parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill and the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. This does not provide much reassurance that the Government has properly complied with its equality duty in the formulation of the policy.

  11. I think NAPO have had their eye off the ball for a number of years. The 2007 Act ,for instance ,was a Labour Act and being used by the Con-Dems to roll out TR. I will take a individual grievance out because I know that with the changing of criteria from an overall look at your workload to what you were doing on 11/11 (Remembrance Day!!) will mean I am CRC bound but my argument is not with the local board but with the Min of J and the way we are all being treated .By the way, have you noticed the speed with which the latest set of documents got onto EPIC? Case of "something I prepared earlier"-also, as one would expect is blaming NAPO for the fact that some of the terms are not as generous as those kind souls at the Min of J would have hoped.

  12. Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, responding to the Ministry of Justice decision to abandon privatising the South Yorkshire prisons cluster, said:
    “This is a humiliating climbdown which shows the danger of being over reliant on a private monopoly to run vast swathes of the justice system.
    “David Cameron and Chris Grayling’s plans for the prison system are in tatters. Their talk of a rehabilitation revolution is nothing but a pipe-dream. The severe shortage of prison places combined with cuts in staff is causing huge problems and is putting public safety at risk.
    “This Tory-led Government should listen to expert advice and also suspend their half-baked privatisation of the probation service. Experts, those running probation trusts and the Ministry of Justice’s own internal risk register warn the Government’s plans to put supervision of serious and violent offenders in the hands of G4S, Serco and the like will put public safety at risk.”

  13. Andrew Hatton informs us, via the NAPO forum, that he has responded to an 'outsourcing' article in the Financial Times. In describing the role of the trades unions (NAPO and UNISON) he says how they represent "qualified PO's"; "admin staff"and . . . . ."unqualified support staff" otherwise known as PSO's ! !. Well Andrew ,if that's the case, then for PSO's read 'monkeys', for 'monkeys' read low paid workers with G4S logo emblazoned on ill fitting blue jumpers. You might have guessed I am indeed a PSO but if you, as such a prolific contributor to this blog,identify my role as 'support staff' then no wonder CG thinks the likes of G4S and SERCO can run Probation . . . .I think I agree with him !.

    1. I accept I am out of date and realise PSO's are now very much lead staff in many instances. In my time they were so particularly in Community Service and increasingly in Court Duty work.

      However, unless the training has changed PSOs , although frequently gaining great experience, do not start with the qualification that enables them to make the assessments that probation officers are so trained to do.

      Probation officers are trained in order to assess the suitability of a person and likely response to a particular sentence and in time after confirmation to also make such assessments of prospective parolees without reference to a computer score but by assessing the recorded information and that gathered in their own enquiries which, in my opinion, apart from in very exceptional circumstances will always include a home visit and contact with those other folk who are close to the client.

      I appreciate the role boundaries issues were smudged and I do think PSOs can be unfairly exposed and are almost always underpaid, but in my opinion their work with clients should usually be in consultation with a probation officer who either takes or confirms the major decisions needed.

      I am sorry if I did not express it clearly, what was attempted in that FT comment was to give an overview of the complexity of the staffing arrangements, which, as I have demonstrated may not be understood properly by a retired probation officer and are almost certainly misunderstood by- as I have suggested elsewhere today, at least 95% of the general population - in my estimation.

      I thank Anon at 20.55 for reading my contributions and hope she or he has added a comment to the FT article to further clarify matters for the readers there.

      Andrew Hatton

    2. Andrew ,to respond fully to this last comment I would need several pages. You are so far removed from reality that I think it better that you restrict your comments to the broader political issues around TR and steer clear of 'front line' issues. For the record, very briefly, I write FDR's which involves 'risk assessment, including home visits. I deliver 1-1 rehabilitative work and run groups.I am not, nor should I be, required to consult with PO's over decisions. And for the record, I think I am paid reasonably well for the work I do, but my concern is that come Oct' 2013 my salary and terms and conditions may well be eroded. The point I tried to make is that if you, as a retired PO, think that a large percentage of the front line Probation staff are 'unqualified support staff' then maybe CG and his cronies think the same !.

    3. Should be October 2014.

    4. OK- point taken - we are unlikely to clear it up here though if we met I think you would find we have a lot in common, on the practice issues.

      Andrew Hatton

  14. Public interest or public safety has never been a concern of this government, especially at the MoJ.
    I recall Francis Maude early last year during the fuel shortage publicly advising the nation to fill up jerry cans with petrol and store them at home.
    With that kind of thinking the public can only feel safe with the roll out of TR. Can't they?

  15. I like tis tweet by James Flaxman (@jamesflaxman)
    22/11/2013 15:40
    Tagging by serco fails
    Now they won't get more jails
    What's good for the nation
    Won't apply to probation
    So what if that goes off the rails?

  16. I am also a PSO and have stepped into the breach to cover for PO colleagues many times. I also offender manage, write reports for sentencing, assess risk, deliver cognitive work and attend child in need meetings and hold maps cases, liaising with police and others. I have heard of PSO's writing SDRs although I only so FDRs myself. I would object to taking orders from a PO really as I am very capable in my own right.

    1. I started a reply, but deleted it.

      We are at cross purposes and also talking about probation practice now which is very different to how it was even ten years ago. I am glad PSOs now have a proper qualification structure and regret that I suspect many stay as PSOs when really with their experience they should be able to rapidly convert to be probation officers with a little extra qualification

      From what I understand about current probation practice, I believe many improvements should be made by looking at the best of what went in earlier years where the key was continuous professional relationships with clients & their families from pre to end of sentence, with specialist support brought in when necessary.

      Andrew Hatton

  17. In a report by Lord Stevens to be published on monday regarding police reforms and restoring public confidence in the police force, he had this to say,

    • Restrictions should be placed on the way chief constables can hand work to private security firms such as G4S and Serco, to maintain “trust and integrity”.Lord Stevens condemns the current police reform programme as “confused”, “fragmented” and “unfocused”.

    I wonder if the same words will be echoed when someone has to commission a report on the probation service?

    1. Confused, fragmented and unfocused?
      Couldn't be anything else really with the MoJ involved!!

  18. Ps many if not all PSOs are VQ3 qualified and many have degrees on other disciplines and even PhDs. Probation really does have a talented and varies workforce. Sorry to labour that. I think I can draw a line now lol