Sunday, 15 May 2016

Serious Further Offence 4

From the Herts and Essex Observer:-

Stansted double murder: Jury hears more of Brett Rogers' violent past after guilty verdict

Double murderer Brett Rogers had a history of threats, violence and criminal damage against both parents before his conviction today (Friday) for killing mum Gillian Phillips and her friend David Oakes. The former milkman, 23, stabbed his 54-year-old mother to death and stamped on her face at the home they shared in Bentfield Gardens, Stansted. He also repeatedly stabbed and caused a fatal head injury to David Oakes, 60, who had stayed with her overnight.

Rogers denied murdering them both on July 22 last year, but after an eight day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, the jury of eight women and four men took five-and-a-half hours to unanimously convict him of both killings. Rogers will receive an automatic life sentence but High Court judge, Mrs Justice Whipple, will sentence him this afternoon and announce the length of time he must remain behind bars before he is even considered for parole.

Last Thursday Rogers attacked a male and female dock officer in front of the jury during evidence by a forensic expert. The woman Serco guard was punched in the face before reinforcements arrived and overpowered him.Since then Rogers' hands have been cuffed together and he was also separately cuffed to a guard. Two other male Serco officers have also accompanied him. Today he sat impassively as the jury announced the guilty verdicts.

After the verdicts, prosecutor Simon Spence QC read out Rogers' previous convictions, which include attacks on his parents and criminal damage on their property, which the jury did not know about. In October 2011 he picked up an ornamental well from his mother's garden and threw it at his father Peter Rogers' window, smashing it. He used a cricket ball on a stick to smash the rear door of the family's address.

In January 2012, his mother would not let him in and he used a shovel to break a window in a door. In June 2012 Rogers was convicted of battery on his father. In that incident he had shouted: "I will get a knife and stick it in you." During a struggle, he put his father in a headlock.

The jury already knew that at the time of the murders, Rogers was on licence. He had been released from prison in March 2015 for causing grievous bodily harm with intent for breaking his father's eye socket in August 2012 at his flat in Bishop's Stortford. The murder trial heard that Mrs Phillips and Mr Oakes had been drinking heavily before they were killed and it would have been difficult to defend themselves. They were both covered in blood.

"Copious" amounts of blood stained the house throughout, both upstairs and downstairs. It was on walls, soaked into carpet, on kitchen, bathroom and bedroom floor, on the cream sofa, white kitchen cupboards, below the cutlery drawer and kitchen bin.

The lifeless body of Mrs Phillips, a divorced mother of two sons, was slumped on a sofa, covered in congealed blood. She had 41 stab wounds to her head, neck and torso, including one which penetrated her skull. She also had 14 blunt impact marks and a trainer, belonging to her son, was linked to bruising on her cheek.

Taxi driver Mr Oakes, who lived in nearby Mountfitchet Road, had 56 injuries to his head, neck and body, both stab wounds and blunt impact. There was significant bruising to the side of his head and his left cheekbone was fractured. His head had been kicked or stamped on. He was lying face down on the living room floor, his breath coming in gurgles. He died, shortly after paramedics arrived, of head injuries. Mr Oakes, who joined the RAF when young, had face cancer and could only communicate through nods and blinks. He and Mrs Phillips were drinking friends, his daughter Louise Wyllie told the trial. She was his only child and had only recently contacted him after many years apart.

Seven bloody knives were found in the kitchen bin, along with blood-stained clothing and trainers belonging to Rogers.The blade of one kitchen knife was severely bent and had both victims' blood DNA on the blade and the defendant's blood on the handle. Rogers had called police and claimed the murders took place while he was away at the shops for a few minutes. He claimed that as he had walked back home he was also stabbed by a stranger who walked past him.


--oo00oo--

This from the BBC website:-
Brett Rogers jailed for 32 years for murdering mother

A man has been jailed for at least 32 years for stabbing his mother and her friend to death while he was on licence after attacking his father. Gillian Phillips, 54, and David Oakes, 60, had more than 40 stab wounds each when police found them at her home in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, in 2015. Chelmsford Crown Court heard Brett Rogers was jailed in 2012 for breaking his father's eye socket. The 23-year-old, who received a life term, had denied two counts of murder.

--oo00oo--

This seen on twitter:-

"Seems SFO in CRC with offender being supervised by new in post untrained PSO who had been the receptionist."

47 comments:

  1. And so it begins. We have a London sfo a murder committed in March by someone on an order who was being supervised by a pso 4 months into the job with no previous probation experience. Is anyone keeping a count of the post split SFOs nationally?

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    1. As far as figures are concerned it will probably appear that there are less a sfo's post TR due to change of criteria. No sfo on a case of stabbing because he was convicted of gbh with intent.

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  2. Is it certain that the comments in italics relate to the Brett Rogers case?

    Also I was bemused at the lack of reporting & the muted comment even by the red top tabloids who have mentioned the case.

    Then I saw also on Twitter: -

    " It seems that at present media have not picked up on defendant being supervised at time of alleged offence."

    https://twitter.com/Gideons_Way/status/731522314978902017


    Which I suppose is an indication of the level of ignorance about probation even amongst professional media sub editors reviewing the reports coming from the criminal courts.

    I heard Tania Bassett of the ridiculously named "National Association of Probation Officers" interviewed about the case on the Dave Monk BBC Essex radio programme on Friday afternoon but the interviewer was focusing on whether anyone should be released early on licence, rather than the processes involved and so the questions made little sense to me. Tania seemed to do OK and did not get the challenges I think she was ready for. It was wrong that the BBC asked Napo for a comment when really it should have been the CRC & NPS area involved but mostly the Ministry of Justice who should be required to explain how these services are being run for the public. Listeners were invited to phone and comment, but none were broadcast or mentioned, maybe no one who was listening to the programme was bothered or had anything that was broadcastable to say.

    I thought there might be more today, but I have seen nothing fresh - it is awful for all concerned AND every probation worker may have acted skilfully and professionally, it is impossible to predict when some folk will become violent.

    I posted a number of queries about the original licence conditions and the assessments that preceded them, but it maybe the actual report will never be published.

    I note the new Essex PCC has revealed his ignorance with a public statement that was repeated every hour on BBC Essex Radio yesterday.

    "Stansted double murder: Essex Police and Crime Commissioner wants probe"

    Read more: http://www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk/Stansted-double-murder-Essex-Police-Crime/story-29270015-detail/story.html#ixzz48iPYqmBW
    Follow us: @HertsEssexObser on Twitter

    Meanwhile Brett Rogers was reported to have assaulted the court based prison officers at Chelmsford Crown Court last week whilst evidence was being given - so it seems as if there was inadequate security there despite the bloke having been in custody since July last year - if only we still had the local prisons to where defendants are remanded still staffing the courts, I suspect that such assaults would probably be less likely.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-36249845

    Meanwhile I remember that on the last day that the Offender Rehabilitation Bill was before the House of Commons, I think in February 2014, I unsuccessfully lobbied by MP, Priti Patel, who refused to listen to any of my concerns and told me that day she had been in touch with the CEO of Essex Probation and Essex Police and County Council who had all satisfied her that the split could be handled safely in Essex which was her main concern (Essex was a single Probation Trust going into a single CRC & NPS thus spared the added difficulties of simultaneous mergers)

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    1. Stansted double murder: Essex Police and Crime Commissioner wants probe

      Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst is referring the case of Stansted double murderer Brett Rogers to the county's criminal justice board.

      The move follows the 23-year-old former milkman's conviction at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Friday) for the brutal killing of his mother and her friend in a bloodbath at Bentfield Gardens.

      Mr Hirst said: "I am deeply saddened by the murder of Gillian Phillips and David Oakes in Stansted Mountfitchet in July 2015. I send my sincerest condolences to Gillian and David's family and friends. Brett Rogers has a history of violence and has now been sentenced by the judge to 32 years in prison. It is essential that Essex Police continues to bring perpetrators to justice. It is also essential that we all do everything in our power to prevent horrific crimes from happening in the first place.

      "When Rogers murdered his mother and her friend, he was on licence from prison for seriously assaulting his father. We must look rigorously at the arrangements for monitoring offenders on licence and ensure that criminal justice agencies have all relevant information in their possession when they make important decisions about supervisory arrangements. As police and crime commissioner, a key part of my role is to have a strong focus on victims and the prevention of crime. I will ensure that this tragic case is urgently examined by the Essex Criminal Justice Board."

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  3. The staggering lack of acknowledgement of the existence of Probation goes on.

    On pg 5 of a 2 page article in today's Sunday People, on the issue of poor prison security, it asks '5 crucial questions for Gove', -with the 5th one being.. -
    '"What will be done to support hard-working prison staff who have been left demoralised by cuts?" '

    er.. and my question to the Editor is ' and what about the Probation officers who do PSRs pre-sentence, initial risk assessments, support and liaise with the prison during sentence, some working within the prison, risk assess prior release, liaise with families and victims, and prepare for and supervise post release, ensuring accom is available, in AP, hostels, rented accom or family?

    Or does that no longer happen now????

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  4. Twitter exchange:-

    "Seems SFO in CRC with offender being supervised by new in post untrained PSO who had been the receptionist."

    Why the hell was a case like this allocated to a "new in post untrained PSO" in CRC in the first place?

    This is the key issue of course, but only if true. Is this not the point of SFO investigations? They need to be made public too.

    Yes it is. Had one SFO in the past. Wasn't murder. Could've been. Outcome: Good example of best practice. Agree on publicity.

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    1. "Why the hell was a case like this allocated to a "new in post untrained PSO" in CRC in the first place?

      This is the key issue of course"

      I do not see that as the key issue at all - the enquiry needs to start from probation's first contact with the bloke and the first assessment especially the PSR that ended in him getting a 5 year three month sentence - then follow on from how the case was first allocated and include a question about why did not the person who wrote the first PSR also supervise after release - if that was not possible - was every subsequent handover unavoidable and how was it or they done,

      What happened as far as when he came out of prison on the last occasion is very important but just a part of the process - the staff involved there were just participants in an engagement that presumably goes back to at least when he appeared in court for sentence for the offence that resulted in the latest licence.

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  5. It is clear that Rogers should not have been allocated to a new in post PSO, but reading the post and comments raises the question as to if the case was even suitable for a CRC

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    1. Well yes - if he was really on licence for a section 18 wounding wouldn't he have been a Cat 2 MAPPA and so NPS?

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    2. I can't imagine it was a CRC case think it must have been NPS due to sentence and Mappa status? Perhaps someone from the Essex area can enlighten us?

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    3. If the sentence was 12 months or more he would be a Category 2 MAPPA case and thus automatically allocated to NPS.
      If his sentence was under twelve months then it would depend on whether he was assessed as high risk or not. If he was assessed as high risk he would have gone to NPS. If he wasn't he would have gone to CRC.

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  6. Although he was not a MAPPA Category 2 case, by way of him not getting twelve months or more custody, I am a little surprised that he wasn't assessed as high risk and allocated to NPS. Mind you, I am not in full possession of the facts or information available to the PSR author.

    I hope the findings of the SFO are made public.

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  7. Probation Officer15 May 2016 at 13:42

    Well the National Probation Service are currently implementing E3. This means the majority of sentencing reports will be written by untrained PSO's and the majority of offenders supervised by untrained PSO's. Yes they'll get a bit of training and development, but they will not be Probation Officers with professional probation training and qualifications. So as much as we may scrutinise the poorly trained and unqualified CRC PSO left holding the bag, the fact is that the NPS is no different. Expect many more SFO's due to inadequate sentencing reports and poor supervision of sexual and violent offenders.

    How's everyone getting on with the new tick-box and wordcount limited shoddy Pre-Sentence Report format? That's another bit of NPS E3 innovation for you!!!

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    1. Report template shocking ! We've all given up in my office and do it on a template in word what a shambles

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  8. "Seems SFO in CRC with offender being supervised by new in post untrained PSO who had been the receptionist."


    Coming soon to a CRC/NPS probation office near you.

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    1. Many PSOs are trained - but some are not. I know of two SFOs where the PSOs hadn't been trained in OASys or Risk. Unacceptable for public protection and for the PSO.

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  9. Doubt we are talking about the same offence/person here. Would GBH With Intent make it into a CRC especially with that injury'? I would hope not. Can anyone clarify who actually supervised Brett Rogers - NPS or CRC?
    o the CRC

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  10. It looks like he was in custody at the time of the split. My guess is that he was allocated to a PO/PSO who got shafted to the CRC. Loads of cases weren't looked at properly in the haste and chaos to move people around and the ones sitting in custody for relatively long periods were the most neglected.

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  11. You lot do my head in. horrific incidents like this occured before TR. COULD A PO prevented this from happening? No. Dont blame TR. MANY admin become PSOs. MANY have relevant degrees but take admin posts as away in. This blog is not fit for purposes, bends the truth, and is so one sided!

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  12. I can confirm this was a NPS case. Jim you've egg on your face a

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  13. Ref: "untrained PSOs". All the PSOs I know have undergone training for their role and are qualified with the City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Probation Practice. While we are not qualified probation officers, we are not "untrained". We are qualified probation service officers.

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    1. Qualified Probation Officer (PO) is very different from qualified Probation SERVICE officer (PSO).

      PSO's complete VQ3 modules in probation practice. This means a VQ assessor looks at their work and ticks off competencies met. Before TR many probation trusts dragged their PSO's through the VQ3 so they could claim to have "qualified staff". Some trusts put a lot of additional training and development into PSO's alongside their VQ3. But others paid assessors to spend 2 weeks with a handful of PSO's each to carry out few work observations and discussions to then tick off met competencies on a spreadsheet to grant each PSO "qualified" status.

      To be honest, for those trusts that did it on the cheap the VQ3 doesn't mean much unless the next step to PO training was achieved and completed. It cannot be compared to the training of Probation Officers which in my day was a minimum 2 years of degree based training with NVQ based learning supported by a 2 year training programme. Those before me studied social work degrees and had work placements.

      I hope this clears the matter up. PSO's are qualified and trained, but are untrained and unqualified TO DO THE WORK OF PROBATION OFFICERS.

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    2. Wrong the employer sets the work and what old tosh POs used to do they are not doing now. Pso s do all the same jobs and in the main do them well without all that pretentious snobbery of being a CQSW or Dipsw and the recent degree. None of these are relevant for the jobs required today. Don't get me wrong I have sympathy for you all PO grades as the recent bout of SFOs have been supervised by some really inadequately non experienced PSOs led by equally poor management of worse ilk.
      POs have only themselves to blame no role boundary insistence doing extra work on sly with NPS reports until PSO were slotted in and now totally discarded. The worst is yet to come and PO as a title will soon be gone sorry.

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    3. I doubt the probation officer title will disappear. As it stands PO's have and always have done more than what a PSO would do. In fact the PSO's were fools for allowing themselves to do PO work without the training, qualifications or pay. From what I see the NPS and CRC's are milking this and are set to replace PSO roles with minimum wage roles.

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    4. CRC its in the title no probation anywhere not seen in the name not in practice anymore. The few officers are struggling to identify with any practice NPS snubbing their own side out of the game and they are for the same route themselves shortly. Then you can all stop whinging for something you failed to protect it was called strike but you didn't do it in number led by idiots and not supported by a joint unions approach wake up. The unions failed to get the importance and reality across because they did not understand it themselves now look failed agreements broken promises and less room to function in privatisation and defragmented NPS.

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  14. Well said 18:53.

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  15. The PSO who have tupe'd to NPS from G4S are not trained or qualified and are now writing reports!,,,,

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    1. Nor the ones working for Catch 22, Penrose or those currently being recruited to CRC's as Case Managers.

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    2. Anyone can write reports they are not difficult but doing them with a lot of the word Thus you need to be qualified as a PO as the word thus is full of the sort old leaning of pretentious rubbish they rely on to pretend reports are more than a fact report on a range of pre determined issues.

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    3. Rubbish. Not anyone can write a good pre sentence report. The new short format report is a template for dummies aimed at those that cannot write reports. This is why they will not let PSO's officially loose on writing complex reports on the high risk and dangerous cases.

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    4. Psos are not dummies they do the job they are told the dummies must the ones they deleted from delivering this work. They and showed anyone dummy can do it. Now look on dummy as it wont be long before they will be doing all that you just mentioned wait and see.

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  16. BBC website:-

    A newly elected police commissioner says a decision to house a violent man with his mother he later murdered was "questionable".

    Brett Rogers was jailed for 32 years on Friday for murdering his mother and her friend in Stansted Mountfitchet. At the time of the killings in 2015, Rogers was on licence from prison for an assault on his father. Roger Hirst, the newly appointed Essex police and crime commissioner (PCC), has called for a review of the case.

    Rogers' mother Gillian Phillips, 54, and David Oakes, 60, had more than 40 stab wounds each when police found them at her home in Stansted Mountfitchet. He was living with his mother in the months after he was released from prison.

    Mr Hirst, a Conservative PCC, has asked the Essex Criminal Justice Board to review the case. "The system doesn't look to have been good enough," he said. "We are looking here particularly at how we can handle probation better - a guy being out on licence like this and to make sure they are not put into a situation where the risk to those around them is this high."

    "For them to be in the same space together does seem to me to be questionable and I think we have to work out what we can do better around safeguarding."

    Tanya Bassett, of the National Association of Probation Officers, said: "These sorts of cases are very, very rare. The huge majority of prisoners that are released during their custodial sentence don't go on to carry out serious further offences."

    Chelmsford Crown Court heard Brett Rogers was jailed in 2012 for breaking his father's eye socket. Rogers, 23, was found at his mother's home in Bentfield Gardens after the attacks laughing and covered in blood.

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    1. Seems a key concept: safeguarding - why was he allowed to live with his mother given his violent history towards his parents? As the PCC noted: "For them to be in the same space together does seem to me to be questionable and I think we have to work out what we can do better around safeguarding."




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  17. It's really difficult to get cases escalated to nps. I feel sorry for the person who was managing this case, she/he must feel terrible. Let's not forget that whatever his/her background it is the system and hierarchy that is responsible for the allocation of this case. The ongoing chaos that we experience on a daily basis and lack of
    resources following TR makes it impossible to manage cases effectively.

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  18. PPOs have all been un-nominated in my CRC area - suitable after sentence but NPS and police have now cancelled them saying they don't meet the criteria.

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  19. Whilst there may well be an Serious Further Offence investigation, it appears that the Brett Rogers case is likely to also fall under the remit of a Domestic Homicide Review which will look at what lessons can be learnt from all agencies involved with the case so not just NPS/CRC and the report should be published.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revised-statutory-guidance-for-the-conduct-of-domestic-homicide-reviews

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  20. Probation Officer15 May 2016 at 21:48

    Final thought: The sad thing is that we are reading about a poor mother brutally murdered by her deranged son. Here we are, the rehabilitation professionals and soon the justice agencies and media, arguing over which of us should be blamed. It's a shame really that this is the low level what TR has brought us too. And I'm sure there are even some out there rubbing their hands in glee because this woman is dead and now they have a bit more evidence that TR is a failure and Chris Grayling was an ass. We already knew this tenfold. The truth is this man would have probably offended in this grave manner no matter who and where he was supervised. My main observation is that yes he was on licence from prison which means that imprisonment didn't work in the first place as a punishment, deterrent or rehabilitative measure. While we blame the poor apparent PSO/receptionist, who is answering the real questions about the fact that we have a spiralling imprisonment rate even though prison does not work. The only thing arguably working about prison is to incapacitate the most grave offenders serving double figures to life, or maybe even just those serving whole life sentences. From the point he was released on licence he was an accident waiting to happen, and it did. In this era of dumbed down pre sentence reports, a lack of suitably qualified AND experianced staff, and prisons comparable to cesspits, I suppose the buck will stop with the manager / Senior Probation Officer that allocated the case.

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    1. It really should be a focus on what we can learn from this, not who can be blamed.

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    2. The response is more complex than just a wish to apportion blame. It is more the horror of the 'preventable accident', which I knew all about yet hadn't been able to stop. And being associated with it, therefore, by default, I feel ashamed.

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    3. Please don't feel ashamed, it's not your fault. Are you getting enough support?

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    4. Blame the tories grayling the socialist democrats scum and the liars in parliament who duplicitous double speak saw the TR in the weak who let it in and the fools who prop it up but we should not look to blame the poor soul who held the case. managing on Crap IT over work schedules and no workload measurements. CRC led targets NPS in a mess and more to slip through any preventable issues that mioght have been picked up by the experienced and skilled those with practice and some vested vocational qualification and training of professionalism and pride. OH sorry rewind 2 3 years for that.

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    5. Thinking about this, the buck actually stops with Michael Gove. If the prison/probation system is failing and people are dying then the man at the top should be required to step down.

      Now that Sadiq Khan is London Mayor will he continue to stand up for probation? Let's hear from him on prisons/probation in London, and I do mean HMP and NPS, not all that shite coming out of the CRC and it's useless partnerships in Rise, Penrose, Catch 22, Safer London, etc!!

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    6. wont do a thing Labour wrote the privatisation clause and the general secretary at that time clearly failed to challenge the blueprint of our demise.

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  21. What experiences are ROs having recalling in CRC? Avoid at all costs due to loss of revenue? Drop inconvenient licence conditions? Send out search parties? Hope remanded to custody? When is a recall a recall or not? I'm not clear anymore. See any link to avoidable further offences inc SFO? I can. Guidance gratefully received, back of a fag packet will do given recent form. How about some national consistency and policy above profit after all we are part of a justice system. Justice needs to be seen to be done, we need to be accountable to something other than the bottom line.

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  22. South Yorks CRC encouraged RO's to breach last month. This month we have to run breaches through management first. We've been told we are breaching too much and the system cannot cope with the volume. Meanwhile TR has impacted on UPW. We now have very poor compliance rate, but we have to cut down on our breaches. Senior managers are leaving the CRC and we still have not got a model that works!

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  23. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/16/riot-squads-called-into-prisons-on-daily-basis-mps-hear

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  24. "Many staff described de-skilling and ‘deprofessionalism’ since the service split and the TR reforms"

    http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2016/05/unaccountable-providers-service-chaos-workforce-pushed-limit-probation-reforms/

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