Friday, 26 February 2016

Tagging Back to Square One

So the the MoJ have finally admitted that they've made a complete mess of trying to procure the next generation of electronic tags, so-often hailed as the answer to the prison over-crowding problem. And it looks like G4S will get their foot in the door again. This from Alan Travis in the Guardian:-  

Plan for 'bespoke' GPS tag for offenders abandoned by MoJ

Much-delayed hi-tech tracking device for use in England and Wales will be replaced with off-the-shelf alternative.

Justice ministers have given up a three-year attempt to introduce a “bespoke” GPS tracking tag for offenders, after the prime minister, David Cameron, promised to make the technology a central part of a radical overhaul of British prisons. The Ministry of Justice is to terminate its £23m contract with Steatite, a small British firm which was to develop the hi-tech tag, and will instead invite bids for companies to supply off-the-shelf proven devices already on the market. Steatite’s share price fell 32% after the announcement on Thursday morning.

The MoJ’s decision paves the way for G4S to submit an offer; the private security company is no longer barred from bidding for British government criminal justice contracts. G4S has contracts to provide satellite tracking of offenders in Scotland and France. It was blocked from bidding for the original MoJ contract in England and Wales when it had to repay nearly £180m over allegations of overcharging on its previous contract to tag 100,000 offenders a year.

Cameron, in his recent speech endorsing justice secretary Michael Gove’s prison overhaul programme, announced that “major new pilots will begin on satellite tracking later this year, and we will have this technology rolled out right across the country before the end of the parliament”. The prime minister said the ability to track an offender’s movements opened up “radical new sentencing options”, including evening or weekend jail sentences.

The Steatite contract was awarded by the previous justice secretary, Chris Grayling, in July 2014 after a lengthy delay caused by the overcharging scandal. The tags were initially due to be implemented nationally by the end of 2014. On Thursday, the justice minister told MPs that the decision to abandon the “bespoke” solution had been taken after a internal review to see how to get the programme back on track.

“Developing bespoke tags has been challenging and it is now clear that it will be more appropriate to pursue our goals using off-the-shelf technology which is already available,” Dominic Raab said. “That is why the Ministry of Justice will be terminating our contract to develop a bespoke tagging product with Steatite Limited and will shortly begin a new procurement process for proven tags already on the market.”

He said the pilot studies this year would be designed to test how GPS was used and how it affected the behaviour of offenders. He promised an independent evaluation before deciding on the technology’s future use. The first MoJ pilots of GPS tags took place in 2004-06. Gove has also approved an expansion of a trial of the use of alcohol abstinence monitoring, or “sobriety tags”. The scheme is to be extended from south London to the rest of the capital.

Jo Stevens, Labour’s prisons and probation spokeswoman, said it beggared belief that the MoJ had had to abandon yet another procurement process. “From the overcharging scandal to G4S and Serco still being paid to deliver tagging equipment after they had been barred from running the contract, this whole saga has been a shambles from start to finish,” she said. “The Tories must now come clean on how much this latest episode of financial mismanagement has cost the taxpayer.”


In a bit of 'news management' and in order to put a positive spin on things, the MoJ came up with this announcement on the same day:-
‘Sobriety tags’ rolled out across London

The Ministry of Justice and Mayor of London announce crackdown against alcohol related crime.
  • Successful scheme monitors criminals’ alcohol intake
  • Pilot results out today show 92 per cent compliance rate
  • Alcohol related crime costs the taxpayer up to £13 billion per year
  • Justice Secretary and Mayor of London committed to stop reoffending
An innovative pilot to keep criminals sober will be extended throughout London, after results out today (25 February) showed it was successful in 92% of cases. Thanks to new funds from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Mayor of London, courts in the capital will be able to put an ankle bracelet on offenders whose crimes were influenced by alcohol.

The tags perform around-the-clock monitoring of alcohol in an offender’s perspiration. If they drink again, breaching their alcohol abstinence order, they can be returned to court for further sanctions. MOJ is contributing £400,000 towards the cost of extending the scheme past its initial four pilot boroughs to the whole of the capital from April 2016. The initiative will be run by the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which is contributing £450,000 to the extension.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove said:

I am absolutely committed to reducing reoffending – so we can cut crime and better protect the public. By giving courts this new power and making the latest technology available, we are helping offenders understand the detrimental impact drinking alcohol can have on their behaviour. This innovative approach has delivered impressive results so far and we will be building on them with this this wider London roll out.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
Alcohol-fuelled crimes put a huge strain on frontline services, costing the taxpayer billions of pounds each year. From assault, to drink-driving, to theft and criminal damage, this innovative technology is driving down reoffending and proving rehabilitation does not have to mean prison. After such a success in South London, it’s time to roll out these tags to the rest of the capital and rid our streets of these crimes, by helping even more offenders stay off the booze and get back on the right track.
MOPAC has overseen an 18-month pilot of the sobriety tags across four London boroughs.

Today’s report finds the tags enjoy a 92% compliance rate. In the first 12 months of the pilot, 113 alcohol abstinence requirement orders were made and offenders were required to remain sober for up to 120 days. This compares favourably with the compliance rate for other community based orders.


Continuing the official policy of airbrushing Probation out of existence, there's no hint of the Service being involved at all. David Raho, Napo's Tagging expert, has this to say on Facebook:-

Transdermal Alcohol Monitoring Tags to be rolled out across London

Whilst the successful piloting of the first use of Transdermal Alcohol Monitoring Tags as part of an Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) is to be welcomed with a further extension of the pilot to include the whole of London what is not welcomed is the complete failure of both the MoJ and MOPAC to credit even to a small degree the work of other agencies involved that undoubtedly contributed substantially to the pilots success. This amounts to what is being interpreted as a politically calculated snub designed to boost the Mayor and MoJ at the expense of other important players in criminal justice system in London. Big individual personalities don't establish effective projects to tackle deep seated problems but rather teams of motivated individuals from different agencies working together in a coordinated way. It was a team effort particularly in relation to addressing ethical concerns.

For instance the technology was provided by Alcohol Monitoring Systems and monitoring infrastructure by Electronic Monitoring Services, assessment was done by members of the National Probation Service and cases were held by London Community Rehabilitation Company. We should not forget some of the groundwork was done by London Probation Trust who agreed to second a member of staff to the project because to be honest that expertise in offender management was needed and MOPAC did not have it. The pilot also crucially involved the probation officers union Napo who were praised by the Local Implementation Group for their support of staff. There was also substantial training work done with Her Majesties Court Services.

So all those people involved can take quite a lot of credit for their professionalism and hard work too that both the MoJ and Mayor does not appear to believe they deserve.

David A Raho
Napo London Branch Research and Information Officer



Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Press Release:-

Satellite tagging plans throwing good money after bad

Friday, 26 February, 2016

The Centre's director, Richard Garside, said today that the Ministry of Justice should halt plans to commission off-the-shelve satellite tagging technology. His comments follow yesterday's announcement that the Ministry was shelving its controversial programme to develop a bespoke satellite tagging programme.

There remains no reliable evidence, Mr Garside pointed out, that routine satellite tagging delivers any real benefit in relation to public safety or a reduction in reconvictions. The routine use of such an intrusive technology also raised ethical and human rights concerns. Before taking any further steps to commission off-the-shelf technology, he added, the Ministry of Justice should seek an independent and rigorous assessment of the efficacy and value of the routine use of satellite tagging.

Last year the Centre revealed that the Ministry of Justice was still paying controversial security firms G4S and Serco millions of pounds a month for electronic tagging, long after both companies were supposedly banned from delivering such work. G4S has a contract to deliver satellite tagging in Scotland, placing the company in pole position to pick up a much more lucrative contract in England and Wales.

Richard Garside said:

'The government has already squandered over £20 million on a failed satellite tagging programme. I'm concerned that it is now intent on throwing more good money after bad by commissioning an off-the-shelf system. There is no clear evidence that satellite tagging convicted people in the community has any meaningful impact on public safety or the reduction of reconvictions. Subjecting citizens to costly, unnecessary and intrusive surveillance also raises numerous ethical and human rights concerns. Before commissioning such an intrusive and costly technology, the government should undertake a rigorous assessment of its costs, benefits and dangers.'


  1. Probation Officer26 February 2016 at 07:38

    It Napo was any good it would get on the news and say this publicly. Instead Raho whines on Facebook to probation staff; preaching to the converted as usual!! No wonder Napo has no members.

    1. Probation Officer: I am not a full time press officer or employee of Napo but do have some facility time that I use to assist Napo members as best I can. I 'whined' on Facebook, Linked In and Twitter I posted on some Facebook groups for information. Bear in mind I also have a day job to do. If anyone from the press wants to get in touch can do so but I have to fit it around other things like work.

    2. Probation Officer26 February 2016 at 10:37

      David Raho, you made a press release, albeit by social media, and you do represent Napo. If I'm not mistaken it was not so long ago your name was on another press release about electronic monitoring and a related event at the Probation Institute. You came here then to justify your support for electronic monitoring in cahoots with Napo and the Probation Institute. Y'all played a part in probation being cut out of the loop. Instead of now whining about the consequences of your naivety why not get the union you work for and the so-called professional association you're aligned with to speak up about it where it counts.

      ... a union is only as good as those leading it!

    3. Yes I can see how you might be confused but sometimes people are involved with different organisations in different capacities and when their articles or comments are produced out of context on different social media sites it can get confusing. I am a member of the Probation Institute as a PO and a member of the PI EM Group in a personal Cacity as I am independently researching the Ethics of Electronic Monitoring. I am elected Health and Safety Convenor and Research and Information Officer for Napo London Branch. National Napo are well aware of the issues and it is a matter for those on the Napo payroll at Chivalry Road if they wish to issue a press release or if they wish to seek my advice. I'm happy to help. The PI EM Group has yet to report its findings so it would be inappropriate to comment here on what they might be. It is no secret that I support the appropriate use of electronic monitoring as I believe there is much that can be learned about its use in countries that have managed to reduce their prison populations substantially and maintained a well functioning publicly owned probation service. I don't believe these ideas are naive but worth exploring. I have never had any ambitions to lead Napo who you appear to despise. I believe Napo made a mistake long ago in not taking a more balanced view in respect of electronic monitoring. I am glad that more recently Napo has been able to engage more rationally with regard to electronic monitoring that has caused some policy makers to shift emphasis and consider greater involvement by the probation service potentially securing future jobs and resources. It is easy to be a merchant of doom and naysayer but a lot harder to turn something around into a positive and constructive intervention.

    4. Probation Officer26 February 2016 at 14:00

      David Raho, it seems you're the one who is confused!

    5. Sounds like a whining from Probation Officer when someone finally stands up to his nonsense

    6. I think David Raho makes a good point about previous probation antagonism to electronic monitoring that goes right back to the first pilots in 1988 when Napo regarded tagging as a gimmick that was contrary to social work values as tagging was all about surveillance and control. It was arguably a missed opportunity to integrate tagging into the mainstream of probation work and keep the private sector out.

    7. I agree with both David Raho and Netnipper. There was definitely an opportunity missed. We gave the private sector the opportunity to get a foot in the door and make tagging something separate and we all know what those companies did. There are some reputable companies out there like Buddi and the alcohol tag people who are more than happy to work with probation to assist in rehabilitation and are not faceless corporations. The problem that is often faced is that the MoJ shifts the goal posts and starts playing politics when it should be looking at the best way to deal with the considerable problems faced. My view is that tagging needs to be firmly under probation control and that as each CRC fails it needs to be brought back under the NPS.

    8. Probation Officer26 February 2016 at 20:10

      Missed opportunity for who? Im sure everyone aware of the hundreds of millions the MoJ has wasted on probation IT over the past 10 years. Tagging would have never worked under probation as it involves IT, contracts, etc. Probation does not manage these area well and is not set up like our innovative European counterparts. The MoJ never wanted to give probation the under 12 months, just as it sold off supervision and community service. Tagging which is even more lucrative was never an option for probation control. IOM schemes in some places already tried the gps in conjunction with the police but the existing technology was just not good enough, this is why it never took off. Napo was right to oppose electronic monitoring and this government does not want to use it to enhance rehabilitation but to replace rehabilitation!

    9. So NAPO got something right by your reckoning. Alleluia Amen

  2. Groundhog Day - this from Telegraph in 2014, pre-Steatite:

    "Buddi, the mobile alarm and tagging technology company, has walked away from a multi-million pound Ministry of Justice contract to tag offenders, branding the process "unproductive and frustrating."
    The Telegraph has learned that Buddi, the Aylesbury-based company backed by hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, has told the MoJ that it will no longer take part.
    Buddi was to provide the unique GPS technology which would allow the tagging system to operate.
    It is understood that Buddi refused to hand over its intellectual property without the provision of a Government guarantee that it would not be used by other companies involved in the tagging scheme.
    In addition, the MoJ changed the specification of its requirements, and expected Buddi, which employs just 25 people, to foot the bill.
    After Buddi refused to work to these changes, the MoJ decided to retender Buddi's part of the contract, with a recompete notice sent out at the start of this week.
    The departure of Buddi, following a series of difficulties, comes despite the Government's target that 25pc of central government spend will be with SMEs by the end of next year.
    Announcing the contract last August (2013) Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary, said "Government is serious about making our contracts accessible to small and medium enterprises."
    However in a memo to staff, a copy of which has been obtained by The Telegraph, founder and chief executive Sara Murray said that she wrote to the MoJ last week to highlight a series of problems, not least that the company was asked to complete development work without being paid.
    "They want the development of a product, which does not yet exist, and we want to sell the breakthrough products we have already designed and are making, which we know will work," she continued.
    Buddi was selected as one of four companies to tag and monitor offenders, following an extensive tendering process. The other three were Capita, Astrium and O2's owner Telefonica.
    The value of the contract - to replace monitoring of 20,000 offenders in England and Wales previously carried out by G4S and Serco - has never been quantified, but Capita is on record as saying its part of the contract alone was worth £400m over six years.
    G4S and Serco pulled out of the tendering process after an investigation found they had been over-charging.
    Ms Murray's memo concluded: "The MoJ have been an extraordinary diversion of much of our resource for two years now and this cannot continue.
    "We are excited for the prospects of the business now that we are free of this unproductive and frustrating relationship."

    1. And Supply Management magazine offered this in 2014:

      "The Ministry of Justice told SM that the Capita contract has a net present cost of £228.8 million, the Airbus Defence and Space contract has a net present cost of £10.4 million, Steatite's contract has a net present cost of £23.2 million and the contract with Telefonica has a net present cost of £3.2 million.

      Grayling added the new contracts offer better value for money, delivering estimated average annual savings of £20 million after the second and third year of operation, “relative to the previous contracts with G4S and Serco”.

      “The contracts will also provide us with far greater oversight over costs and charging than previously, with direct access to suppliers’ systems and extensive audit rights,” said Grayling.

      The MoJ plans to start using the new tags by the end of the year."

    2. The structure of the re-organised 2014 deal followed " ... a rigorous competitive process and is a critical milestone in the programme to introduce the new arrangements,” said Grayling. “Capita will manage the overall service under a six-year contract, with Airbus providing satellite mapping and Telefonica supplying the network under three-year contracts.

      “The new tags will be supplied by the British company Steatite, and will be a significant improvement on the tags currently in use, exploiting the latest technology to locate and track subjects.”

      Steatite took the contract after Buddi bailed out, but there remained ongoing arguments over intellectual rights & Steatite then sub-contracted their role to a Taiwanese company.

      What better way to waste £265Millions of public money?

    3. We must not forget the continued payments to the ostracised G4S & Serco. This from The Guardian in 2015:

      "The Ministry of Justice is still paying security firms G4S and Serco millions of pounds every month for supplying electronic tagging equipment, more than a year after both companies were barred from running the contract.

      Both companies faced criminal investigations by the Serious Fraud Office over allegations of overcharging that led to them repaying nearly £180m.

      The continuing monthly payments to the two companies were uncovered by an analysis of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies which shows that G4S was paid a total of £8.7m between March 2014 – when it lost the tagging contract – and February 2015. Serco was paid £4.5m over the same period.

      The electronic monitoring tags are used to enforce curfews on more than 100,000 offenders each year. The outsourcing giant Capita took over the contract on an interim basis in April last year.

      In July 2014, Capita and three other companies were named as the winners of a £265m six-year contract to supply the next generation of satellite tracking tags, which would allow dangerous and repeat offenders to be monitored around the clock.

      The MoJ agreed that Capita should continue to use the older G4S/Serco tagging equipment until the first satellite tracking tags were due to come into use by the end of last year.

      But there have been continued delays in the development of the satellite tracking tags and the contracts with G4S and Serco to use their equipment have been extended. The Guardian understands that they were given a 15-month extension earlier this year with a further extension possible when that expires in 2016."

    4. The FT helpfully wrote this in Sept 2015, which clarifies that the £265M GPS tag cost was separate from the Capita contract for £400M non-GPS tags (using Serco & G4S equipment), and adds Gove's views about it:

      "Moves to oust G4S and Serco as tagging suppliers fail - Gill Plimmer

      Attempts to replace G4S and Serco as suppliers of electronic monitoring tags after they were caught overcharging the Ministry of Justice have failed to deliver, prompting calls for the procurement process to be scrapped.

      Capita won the contract — worth £400m over six years — to manage the electronic tagging of offenders in 2014 after G4S and Serco were referred to the Serious Fraud Office for overcharging for tagging offenders, some of whom were back in prison or who had already died.

      But the contract to supply the new generation of GPS satellite tags was run separately and has so far failed to deliver, forcing the government to rely on tags supplied by G4S and Serco anyway.
      G4S was paid a total of £8.7m between March 2014 — when it lost the tagging contract — and February 2015, according to an analysis of official data by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. Serco was paid £4.5m during the same period.
      The first of the new satellite tags are not expected until 2016 at the earliest, nearly four years after the procurement began, according to the think-tank Reform. It argues the entire process should be scrapped.

      The Ministry of Justice declined to say whether this was a viable option. But Michael Gove, the justice secretary, told a recent select committee that the procurement had “been deeply unsatisfactory” and that John Manzoni, the chief executive of the civil service, was reviewing the process and looking at “how we can get delivery back on track”."

    5. All this waste of public money. If this was Kid's Company there would be accusations of mismanagement and heads would roll. But as it's politicians and clever civil servants, there is no can to be carried or plank to walk.

    6. has this info to offer:

      "The electronic monitoring contracts cost the Home Office £102.3 million in 2004-05, an average of £1,943 per curfewee. The large volume of offenders released on Home Detention Curfew and Adult Curfew Orders accounted for 78 per cent of this expenditure. Apportioning this cost between the number of offenders tagged does not, however, represent the total cost of electronic monitoring per person as it does not take into account the time spent by prison, probation and court staff in administering each case, or the costs of police time spent dealing with offenders. The National Audit Office interviewed key staff and monitored their work in order to determine the typical time spent dealing with such offenders and estimated the additional costs to be £334 per curfewee on Home Detention Curfew, and £417 per curfewee on an Adult Curfew Order. Around 80,000 offenders are tagged every year, including former prisoners released early and criminals serving community sentences."

      So in 2004/5 it was costing well over £2,000 per taggee...

    7. ... Unfortunately figures don't appear to be presented in a consistent format (bit like supermarket prices) so there are variously costs of contracts, costs per period of tagging and costs per day. Reform claim its £73 a day to jail someone but estimate £8 a day for the new tags. In 2013 it was claimed tagging cost about £13 each day, but not clear if this included the additional costs referred to above. And none of the figures indicate if the costs of procurement, e.g. £265M in the case of the GPS tags, have been accounted for as well. If MoJ want to claim its cost effective & offset that figure against a 5 year contract of, say, 100,000 tags per year, it still adds over £500 to the cost of each tag.

      Reform suggest that 90,000 tagging cases cost £108M in 2012/13, which is £1,200 per case. If we assume each tag is 90 days' duration we get the magic £13/day figure. That's without the extra £500 per tag, which would make it £19 a day. But not every tag lasts that long, so the data is even more flawed.

      And £19/day for 100,000 tags is some £171M annually, not the projected £37M that MoJ aspire to, i.e. Nearly five times as costly as is claimed.

    8. But all of this is speculative buffoonery. Its like saying if a Probation Officer costs approx £100/day (£35K salary) then cost per supervisee per day (assuming caseload of 80 cases) is £1.25, making a 12 month Order £456.25. This excludes costs associated with buildings, admin, insurances, organisational structure, programmes, unpaid work, etc etc. And that's assuming a year is 365 days. If we use a 5 day/week then its (1.25 x 260) £1,300. Perhaps a more realistic figure would be to take a service provider annual budget & cost their annual caseload?

      So, for example, Essex budget in 2012/13 was £18.6M. They stated in 2012/13 their "average caseload" was 5,100 in the community & 900 in custody; total 6,000.

      So here's my pitch using existing data:

      Cost per probation case per year = £3,100
      Cost per prison case per year = £26,500
      Cost per taggee per year = £7,000

  3. You can buy Pawtrax for £120 to keep track of your dog. Sobriety tags undoubtedly must have CE approval as none invasive medical equipment. I wonder if they have? The CE mark should be on the first page of the handbook.

    1. You could ask them

    2. The device is CE marked and has been approved to be used in the pilot after extensive testing by Home Office CAST. Thank you for the suggestion.

  4. The gps tags do not work properly and do not hold charge. Failures will not be enforced as the reason will be "the battery was flat". Proper gps tags that do not need charging are too expensive. But the government and its friends at G4S wants the money and to replace human supervision, so is rolling it out anyway and probation helped make it happen!!!

    1. I don't think probation can claim credit for making the roll out of GPS tags happen. In retrospect it might be more accurate to say that it is regrettable that probation were not more involved in the integration of electronic monitoring as it is used by some our European neighbours whose governments would not consider privatising probation. The MoJ/NOMS were hoping to use GPS tags to release those serving under 12 months but they have proved themselves totally incompetent in procuring the necessary equipment. They will now probably go back to G4S who still hold the contract in Scotland and may well behave themselves if the right contract is drawn up.

    2. Probation Officer26 February 2016 at 14:09

      Probation has been piloting gps tags for a number of years now. IOM schemes were amongst the first. The gps tags didn't work properly then and they don't now. We have a government that has already privatised probation and is already guilty of handing out tagging contracts to whomever promises a fast buck and a few shareholder positions to Tories et al. The additional current push to increase tagging despite the flaws and the previously conning the government and tagging dead people, is to further cut costs and erase the probation service.

    3. The IOM GPS schemes were police led using BUDDI equipment. The equipment worked well and is still working well. The next tagging contract is likely to go to G4S because they have an off the shelf system that can easily be integrated with the existing system. The GPS tagging is likely to be targeted at those sentenced to under 12 months to get them out of prison sooner.

    4. The tags we use have improved over the last few years but there are still a number of issues with the scheme as a whole. However, I certainly don't go round telling those wearing them what problems we encounter and so I don't feel comfortable writing them here either. Problem then is we don't get a fully informed debate.

    5. No the tags are cumbersome and don't hold charge. This is why uses had to agree voluntary and promise to charge them, with the blackout period being unenforceable. The software is good but the tags are not. GPS tags that either hold charge 247, self charge via Bluetooth or do not need charging are very expensive and nobody wants to invest. The government has no intention of expensive initiatives but just wants to open the door for the more cruder forms of electronic supervision.

  5. Daily Mail:-

    Ministers abandon a £23MILLION plan to design their own GPS tags for criminals and admit they could have just bought them off the shelf

    The Government today admitted a £23million to scheme to design bespoke GPS tags for criminals would not work and better technology could be bought off the shelf. The scheme, announced by then justice secretary Chris Grayling in July 2014, had been intended to save money by increasing sentencing options for judges. But 18 months later and after most of the money has been spent, Justice Minister Dominic Raab today said the project had been a failure.

    Labour said the move 'beggars belief' and called on ministers to reveal exactly how much the scrapped process has cost the taxpayer.

    Raab told MPs: 'Developing bespoke tags has been challenging and it is now clear that it will be more appropriate to pursue our goals using off-the-shelf technology which is already available.

    1. Yet another disgrace to add to the shame of this arrogant, vainglorious excuse for a govenment. But lets not forget that the coalition crew did nothing different, nor did the "new labour" shower before that. And, as observed elsewhere today, just about every substantial hierarchical organisation in the UK seems to revel in the 'one rule for you, another set of excuses for us' principle.

      Maybe someone could tot up the lost £Millions across all government departments due to shit procurement & failed contracts over the last ten years - IT failures, warships, submarines, TR, tags, etc, etc.

  6. Apologies for going off topic, however DTV have just announced to Band 5 staff that they are laying off approximately three quarters of them. Only 6 managers posts, all managers must apply. Two weeks (PA) redundancy if you go straight away, 1.5 (PA) if you apply for your job but are unsuccessful! Moral low at the moment.

  7. What area is DTV? Who owns the CRC. Let's all unite. We can't let this happen to these managers!!

    1. :) OMG no, not the managers! Right people lets stop all this arguing, this is getting outta hand now. FFS mangers are being given the bloody heave ho.
      I dont know about you but im not happy to work in a service that does not have enough managers in it. How am i expected to manager without a manager??

    2. in Merseyside only grade safe are case managers and I think, for now, senior case managers (pso/po respectively) All admin incl admin managers & Unpaid Work staff are having to do a 2000 word application for their post & the closing date is this Monday 29th Feb, Interserve have promised that those unsuccessful will get re-deployed. Little notice for this - 2 weeks at most.

  8. G4S has problems with its youth prisons. And their 'get out of jail card' is to flog 'em like any other commodity.

    1. The private security firm G4S is to sell its UK children’s services business, including its contracts to run two youth prisons, weeks after damning footage emerged of its staff using excessive force on children.

      The contracts to be sold include the management of Medway secure training centre (STC) in Kent, where five men were arrested in January after an undercover BBC Panorama investigation exposed the alleged abuse of “trainees”.

      G4S has been repeatedly criticised over the use of restraint at Medway STC, which the company has run since it opened in 1998. The second child prison run by the company, at Oakhill, Milton Keynes, is also to be sold. A third secure training centre, Rainsbrook, is already in the process of being transferred to a new company, MTC Novo.

      A G4S statement said the sale of the operation was going ahead as part of “its ongoing review of its portfolio of businesses”. The business, with revenues of £40m a year, includes the management of 13 children’s homes.

    2. The MoJ confirmed that it had launched an audit of all the restraint injury data from Medway STC that had been provided to the Youth Justice Board by G4S.

      The decision to sell the contracts to run the two youth prisons and 13 local authority children’s homes does not concern the prisons or immigration detention centres also managed by the company.

      Penal reformers called for the STCs to be shut down instead of sold. “These child jails have been the focus of much controversy, not least the recent BBC Panorama documentary into abuse by staff at Medway,” said Andrew Neilson, of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

      “There is now an opportunity developing to close the secure training centres down completely. These centres are a failed model and this wise withdrawal from the market by G4S should not be followed up by new private security companies coming in to replace them, with dubious track records abroad in the treatment of people in custody.”

    3. G4S: rotten to the core as these whistleblower allegations for 2003 demonstrate. And the man in charge at the time was the same one who shed crocodile tears following the Panorama undercover filming. Seems the only difference was that there was no film of the abuses in 2003. No one did anything – home office or police. All the cant about whistleblowing – whether it's the BBC or any other hierarchical institution – they will do nothing unless they perceive they are at risk of reputation damage or corporate responsibility. The scandals and abuses will continue, because fundamentally nothing changes and those in power rule through fear and bullying.

    4. Serious allegations of abuse and bullying at a G4S-run youth prison were made more than a decade before the current controversy surrounding the secure training centre which is now to be sold off, the Guardian can reveal.

      Eleven staff were suspended or sacked from Medway STC in Kent last month after a BBC documentary alleged staff were inappropriately restraining inmates and falsifying statistics to improve the jail’s record. G4S announced on Friday that it was to sell its “children’s services businesses”, including the contracts for Medway and another STC, in Oakhill, Milton Keynes.

      The announcement came on the same day the Guardian was able to report that two Medway whistleblowers had made claims in 2003 about inmates being abused by staff, and staff being bullied by the head of G4S children’s services, Paul Cook, who was in charge of the facility. No significant action appears to have been taken as a result of the complaint.

    5. Anonymous 16.58 I hope you never have to face redundancy whoever you are, any job lost is a disaster for the individual, yet continuing evidence that model is a disaster. You should be ashamed. DTV is a not for profit CRC with a staff mutual on the board, yet is it acting exactly as Sodexo did, bulldozing shocked managers with years of service and experience, disregarding process and I don't even believe it is about funding as I am told whilst redundancies are happening, a highly paid director is being recruited and a marketing manager, what on earth do we have to sell. I am convinced they will come for the POs next, whilst protecting their own jobs. It isn't just managers, HR and training staff are going, This process started on Tuesday and the managers they want rid of will be gone by the end of March. Four SPOs left to manage the entire Durham Tees Valley. My manager is brilliant, you can be sure that no-one is safe, these contracts cannot survive

    6. I'm totally sympathetic for them; this awful government has a lot to answer for. I can't help but thinking that managers have sat in managers meetings all along and have known exactly what was coming.

      ... And then they came for us!

    7. Don't be daft heard enough of this rubbish they are coming for all your terms pay and conditions. Ridding us of the silly management is a reward they complacently helped the TR agenda trying to deliver targets and now they have seen the light. The bloody spotlight on em. Its almost deserving really. Anyway they have statutory notice periods and that's 3 months so lets see how the consultation goes. Where the hell is napo press and a decrying press release do we pay for a PR officer to remain totally silent. What are the national chairs doing hiding under a desk and where is the rest of the officer and officials group silence is a compliance isn't it Napo ?