Is this the future?
We are a regional sized housing charity and I have watched and wondered what the split of to CRC and NPS will mean to us? We house a substantial number of ex-offenders and we have had a first taste of the new service from our local CRC.
One of our housed offenders is a MAPPA 1 case supervised by the CRC. He is on licence to early 2017. He lives in block of flats not far from the city centre. Over the weekend his flat was attacked and his door daubed with abuse. A number of our tenants contacted us concerned about what had been written on the flat door and walls and about their safety. Our maintenance team immediately cleaned the area and repainted the door.
We were informed that he had been arrested by the Police and to the best of our knowledge was being questioned about a serious offence.
What were our concerns? If he is released without charge do we need to move him to a safer location? If we do, when is he likely to be released so we can smoothly ensure that he is safe? We are also conscious about the safety of the other residents in the flats if he was released and went back to the flats. Would other residents be mistaken for him? Would he been vulnerable to attack from other residents? What were the CRC thoughts and views on this as they have him on licence?
On Monday morning we rang his CRC officer to explain our concerns, no one available to take the call. By 5pm no response from anyone and I rang the CRC to speak to the Senior Probation Officer, not available. I got their email address and emailed them highlighting our concerns and have waited for a response, nothing from the Probation Officer or the Senior Probation Officer.
We eventually heard today from the Police that he has now been remanded in custody accused of a serious sexual offence. We have secured his room and informed the other residents of the flats that he will not be returning.
I have still not even had an acknowledgement from the Senior Probation Officer concerning my email nothing but a terrible silence. Brand new future sounds like a nightmare. What if he had been released without charge and returned to his property?
Every child care or probation disaster enquiry always highlights poor communication as the key failure. Not a great start for the CRCs in terms of communications! I don’t blame the PO or SPO as we are already hearing nightmare stories about caseloads and new areas of responsibilities.
However the CRC have to understand a bad call or mistake is not someone losing benefits and it is not something that can be covered up in prison, this is out there in the community.
If anyone thinks I have unrealistic expectations I did spent thirteen years as a Senior Probation Officer.