From the latest Sentencing Council Guidlines:-
In many cases, a pre-sentence report will be pivotal in helping the court decide whether to impose a community order and, if so, whether particular requirements or combinations of requirements are suitable for an individual offender. Whenever the court reaches the provisional view that a community order may be appropriate, it should request a pre-sentence report (whether written or verbal) unless the court is of the opinion that a report is unnecessary in all the circumstances of the case. It may be helpful to indicate to the National Probation Service the court’s preliminary opinion as to which of the three sentencing ranges is relevant and the purpose(s) of sentencing that the package of requirements is expected to fulfil. Ideally a pre-sentence report should be completed on the same day to avoid adjourning the case. If an adjournment cannot be avoided, the information should be provided to the National Probation Service in written form and a copy retained on the court file for the benefit of the sentencing court. However, the court must make clear to the offender that all sentencing options remain open including, in appropriate cases, committal for sentence to the Crown Court.
"Ideally a pre-sentence report should be completed on the same day to avoid adjourning the case."
Does no one understand what a fundamentally important role the PSR should have in effective probation work? Did thousands of probation officers waste their bloody time over the last 30/40years, sweating over what we felt was a core aspect of the job, namely providing the court with an in-depth explanation for an offender's behaviour so that the court could sentence wisely?
As soon as we got saddled with OASys, many of us realised the PSR was condemned to a slow death, and so it has proved - a vitally important piece of work, now sidelined and seen as merely a bureaucratic hindrance to the smooth running of our court system and routinely prepared by PSO's. Not a murmur of discontent from the judiciary, Magistrates Association, Law Society, Bar Council or Probation Institute - an utter disgrace!