Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Serious Effects of TR

Just one of the many risks associated with the TR omnishambles, foisted upon the Probation Service by Chris Grayling and enthusiastically supported by the Liberal Democrats, was the likelihood of an increase in Serious Further Offences. This from yesterday's Daily Mail:-

Criminals out of jail on probation 'murder 76 people a year': Offenders were also charged with more than 1,000 rapes and 134 kidnaps over five year period

Criminals have been charged with nearly 400 murders while under official supervision. Damning figures reveal the public is being put in danger by offenders who commit chilling crimes despite being on probation. They are meant to be monitored closely, but 76 a year are being hauled before the courts for killing in cold blood.

Offenders on probation were charged with 382 murders between 2012 and 2016, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice – the department which changed the regime for managing criminals in the community in 2014. They were also charged with 200 attempted murders, 34 manslaughters, 1,024 rapes or attempted rapes, 134 kidnaps, 54 arson attacks and 457 other serious sexual or violent offences – a total of 2,285 violent and sexual offences, or the equivalent of nine serious attacks a week.

Of the 2,829 cases of homicide, including both murder and manslaughter, between 2012 and 2016, one in seven was carried out by criminals under supervision. The figures, released by the MoJ in response to Freedom of Information requests, raise fresh concerns over whether dangerous offenders are being released too soon – and whether the authorities are able to monitor them safely.

Among the most notorious cases of monitoring failures is that of serial killer Joanna Dennehy, who murdered three men in 2013 while under the supervision of probation workers. Last night critics said the figures were evidence of how the public was being put at risk by failures in the monitoring system.

David Spencer, of the Centre For Crime Prevention think-tank, said: 'These shocking figures show that, despite the recent Government shake-up, probation in the UK is still not fit for purpose. For even one criminal to be released under supervision, only to commit a serious crime, is unacceptable. For the figures to be in the thousands, and to include almost 400 murders, is staggering and will only serve to hugely undermine public trust in the justice system. 'It is painfully clear that an urgent review of the current system is needed.'

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added: 'This is scandalous and should make every right-thinking person outraged. Probation and supervision is supposed to be for offenders who are low risk and yet it seems some of the most dangerous people are being let out to commit further crimes, including murder. Enough is enough. An urgent investigation must be conducted and ministers need to be held accountable.'

Bob Neill, who was Tory chairman of the justice select committee in the last Parliament, said: 'This seems to prove that the probation arrangements are not working properly. They are not rehabilitating offenders nor protecting the public. These figures are a real concern and they show that the system is failing and needs overhauling.'

The Government introduced the £3.7billion Transforming Rehabilitation programme in 2015 in a bid to tackle reoffending – which costs society £15billion a year. The overhaul created a National Probation Service to deal with high-risk offenders, with the remainder assigned to 21 partly privatised Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs).

The reforms saw all prisoners sentenced to a year or less given 12 months of supervision on release. Under a payment-by-results scheme, the CRCs check whether criminals are complying with court requirements and help rehabilitate them. Damningly, the number of so-called Serious Further Offences – serious crimes committed by offenders on probation – has soared 30 per cent since the Government shook up probation, from 404 to 522.

Ian Lawrence of Napo, the probation officers' union, said thousands of staff had been laid off since the shake-up, meaning staff were increasingly supervising offenders remotely.

He said: 'The situation is going to get worse and it is going to put even more people at risk. If offenders are not being seen, or not as frequently, and the level of supervision is not what it should be, then mistakes will occur. There are people on the streets who are not being properly supervised, which means they are a real and present danger to the public.'

Killer Joanna Dennehy was under supervision of probation workers when she murdered three men. Fuelled by a 'sadistic lust for blood', she killed Lukasz Slaboszewski, Kevin Lee and John Chapman in March 2013. All three men were stabbed through the heart. At the time, Dennehy was serving a 12-month community order for assault and owning a dangerous dog.

She was supposedly being supervised by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Probation service, but simply skipped appointments after moving to Lincolnshire. A leaked report revealed officials missed opportunities to spot the risk she posed and the mother of two was left in the hands of a junior manager. In 2014, tattooed Dennehy, 34, laughed and smirked when she was told she would never be released from prison, and told a judge she had 'no remorse'.

In December, a damning report found that the public was being put at risk because of 'unacceptable' failures in the supervision of offenders released on to the streets. Watchdogs said some criminals were not seen by probation workers for weeks or months, while others had vanished altogether. Last year, then-justice secretary Liz Truss ordered a full review of the probation service's privatisation.

An MoJ spokesman said: 'Keeping the public safe is our top priority and offenders on licence are subject to a strict set of conditions on release. A thorough investigation is always carried out when someone commits a serious further offence to see whether anything could have been done differently.'

27 comments:

  1. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added: 'This is scandalous and should make every right-thinking person outraged. Probation and supervision is supposed to be for offenders who are low risk and yet it seems some of the most dangerous people are being let out to commit further crimes, including murder. Enough is enough. An urgent investigation must be conducted and ministers need to be held accountable.'

    Yep, Tim, ministers & MPs need to be accountable. So please account for who supported Grayling's TR project by voting with the lunatic Minister.
    (You also demonstrate you don't have much of a grasp of probation either).

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  2. 'A thorough investigation is always carried out when someone commits a serious further offence to see whether anything could have been done differently' - while in Manchester the CRC just suspend the Offender Manager while they look for a way to pin the blame on him or her

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    1. Quite right lets look at that then. Qualified officer doing their best . None of them non qualified over stretched self belief but low skilled PSOs running around calling themselves modern day case managers. The PO has 98 cases under the modern made for the public menu of CRC. Following order supervision is a thing of past as tel calls do the job in 2 minutes. OKAY might work but after security checks is it you ? the phone goes dead mobiles credit ran out. PO enters tel call contact. Not seen offender again until next call. That never happens as the SFO happens. Sure lets look at the real balme. The service is non existent. The po cannot recall who was spoken to when as so many cases. The Records are just minor low time records of contact and not 1 shered of traditional value meaningful work. The organisation CRC claim the models is sound but it is not. The CRC blame staff on training or process error or bedding in period but its really them targets cash linked issue not the doingt the needed job.
      Then they do a report blame away and the inspectors say its ok as the government have told them kleep the CRC sham rolling along. The bvalme should really be at Grayling door he knows as doses the nasty party know the under classes the working classes and the rest of us are not worth a light. Look around May is still cutting free school meals to pay for the prop her DUP deal no doubt. Its a rotten era and its all Tory made.

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    2. What we know is potentially the most at risk & risky are those who would benefit from MHT requirement, yet courts are being told by CRCs & NPS in most areas that they are not available! Imagine courts accepting that prison or even UPW was not available!

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  3. Everyone working in the TR shambles are just sitting ducks for SFOs. We do not have the power or resource to monitor individuals 24/7. Media feed inaccurate delusion. Cannot wait to get out, it's no longer possible to help individuals make real change, just a conveyor belt of tick boxing targets, sat behind a computer 75+ % of time

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  4. '21 Partly privatised Community Rehabilitation Companies'. Well one is mutual but they are all fully privatised companies contracted and paid until 2021. There are far fewer POs working for these companies now than when probation was provided by Probation Trusts. Parliament and the public were conned and the probation profession shafted by Chris Grayling and his cronies who has left a trail of disruption and failed projects in his wake.

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  5. Unfortunately just another shock horror story from daily mail without any real substance or analysis. They've obviously misinterpreted 'partly privatised' service as 'partly privatised companies'. Really sloppy and a missed opportunity to properly inform. I still can't get my head round the fact that privatisation has meant information can't be shared between NPS and CRCs and you're lucky if an email to CRC officer doesn't bounce back. It's f@@king ridiculous.

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  6. Probation, social services, police, fire fighters, psychology, mental health, nhs, teaching...

    All public sector professions that have been systematically vandalised. And all are professions where, more often than not, staff make a vocational choice - not motivated by ambition or financial reward. That was always the pay-off, i.e. commit to a vocation that is demanding & vital but not highly paid, but is SAFE vis-a-vis salary, pension, leave.

    The venal scum who see privatisation & tick-box "metrics" as a panacea for everything have simply destroyed the stability of the core services in our society, making us all exposed to the bullying whims of market economies, greedy predators & psychopathic politicians.

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  7. Well said. Also, it's a lie that privatised public services are more efficient. The whole thing is a total scam, the main aim being destruction of the 'professional middle class' - teaching, medicine, social work, policing. The goal is very rich, or very poor, nothing in between. A slave economy.

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    1. Annon @08:42 you're so right. Social issues just don't belong in the hands of the private sector. Grenfell stands as a devastating testimony to that.
      On the Daily Mail article-

      "Damningly, the number of so-called Serious Further Offences – serious crimes committed by offenders on probation – has soared 30 per cent since the Government shook up probation, from 404 to 522."

      My maths aren't the best, but if you dramatically increase the numbers on probation supervision, as with the 12mth and under group, you have to accept the potential for SFOs to increase must be far greater?
      I don't know what the % increase was to probation case loads when the 12mth and under were incorporated, but would it be near the 30% mark?
      The interesting statistic for me is the one that's missing. What % of the 12mth and under group are responsible for that 30% increase?
      That information would legitimise concerns raised at the time TR was being introduced as to the dynamic nature of risk, and the often chaotic nature of behaviour exhibited by those within the 12mth and under cohort.

      'Getafix

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    2. Getafix, I suspect that is a stone they have taken a peak under and don't like what they see... I am sure it will come out in the wash if a decent MP should ask the question during Justice Secretary questions... or not..

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  8. As these figures are both pre & post TR it would be interesting to know if there has been an increase since TR (including the transition period)!

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    1. Making comparisons is problematic when what's counted gets changed as happened in 2009 when there was a significant fall.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/oct/26/violent-sex-offenders-crime-data

      We get this annual risk hysteria and blaming TR may be a convenient lie but it's grist for the usual ideological mills. The numbers of such offences are always small in the context of overall caseloads.

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  9. "Supervision" is a total joke. Mine consists of a monthly phone call saying "has anything changed?" You say no and in a couple of days you get the next telephone appointment notice through the post. And that's it. If you need help with anything, the answer is always no. I'm just surprised there aren't more violent crimes committed by people on licence because there literally is zero supervision of any kind

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  10. 15.28 where do you work? Is anyone seen face to face?

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  11. Im ashamed to be part of Probation right now. Trusts were not great, but in comparison to what we have now...boy do i miss them now (34 Trusts rated good, 2 rated excellent). In the NPS i have recently been witness to a very serious and disgusting further offence, guess what, our management brush it under the carpet. In the days of Trusts this would have had recommendations etc, under Civil Service its lets keep our heads down nothing to see here. Shameful.

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  12. What the Fuck is Tim Farron talking about? Bye Bye you insignificant little grebo!!

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  13. It's the Parole Board who let people out and the Judges decide how long they get. But guess what? Probation get in the neck once again. These people are clueless.

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  14. In West Yorkshire. One of our NPS offices can't find any PO's willing to work for us and workloads are through the roof for PO's. Covering sickness, long term mostly, being shafted with the WMT which does not recognise oral hearings, cold OASys etc. 2 hrs for an ARMS assessment when the interview itself takes that long. nEvery single PO in thee office wants to leave the service or at least leave case managemnt but we are tld we cannot do sideways moves as we don't have enough po's. Meanwhile we have PSO's in the office twiddling their thumbs because they can't work with hardly anyone and get handed the 4 weekly medium cases on a plate cos the work is all done by the time they get to medium risk. CRC PO's are making hay whilst the sun shines.No reports to do. Delegating work to PSO's in the CRC who have ridiculously high caseloads. What is so difficult about this? PO's in the NPS only. PSO's in the CRC only. Simple practical sense. Not having a go at any of my current and former colleagues in the CRC. Friends as well. It;s bloody stupid decision makers. But frustrating when PO'S have 130 plus WMT and the PSO's have 15 cases each on 22k apiece. What a balls up.

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    1. I guess you're one of those people sifted into the NPS who chooses to believe you were 'chosen' because you were somehow better at the work, rather than randomly assigned, as we all know to be the truth of the matter, and that the NPS work - monitoring compliant cases as managers and MAPPA meetings direct, essentially - is somehow harder or more demanding or more important than the work with the greater body of potential SFO cases in the CRCs ?

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    2. 22k a piece?? - 27k a piece more like, I know this is the case as many PSO in my area chose the NPS and they'd been in the service years so were at the top point of the scale. They're probably taking 1700 home per month.

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    3. 08. I think you have misread what I am saying here completely. Its not about professional snobbery. It's about practicality of the scenario as it is. My friends in the CRC go back 14 years or more. The PSOs in my NPS office are new starters.

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  15. The issue here is that the split completely undermined the ability of management to make effective workforce planning decisions by eliminating any resilience that they previously had. The split makes sensible and consistent decision making on workloads and priorities pretty much impossible. I am hearing stories of NPS staff having to work in three offices involving 80 mile round trips whilst CRC staff are under-utilised. Similarly, there are instances that are the other way around. Offenders travelling ridiculous distances to attend NPS or CRC offices because cuts resulted in closures. The whole thing was poorly thought out and rushed in without any real feasibility studies. In short, Grayling and his minions screwed up massively and you guys are all paying the price (I was sifted into an untenable situation and left).

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  16. no access to delius or any internet connection in Interserve CRCs. this has been since first thing this morning. We can't even get on at home ia our own wifi.

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    1. We in Wonky Links feel your pain - this has been a regular occurrence for us since our shoddy IT switchover

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  17. It's sad to see so much vitriol directed at PSOs

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  18. In relation to 07/07 @ 10:45 and a fair few others at digs at CM / old money PSO's - as what I ( and only I ) can describe as an experienced ( after 18 yrs + in service in various roles and Probation training !! ) I do not get the salary that you pertained to ( I wish nor the same holidays as my P.O. grade colleague's etc nor do I currently get the same bleating heart !!) but what I do get within the CRC CGM is high end DV cases, increased case loads , historical sex offender cases and now have to attend training that means not only do I case manage but I run accredited programs to boot!! I'm experienced and quite robust however I fear greatly ( and for myself extremely
    p****d off for my fellow inexperienced CM's ( old money PSO'S ) that have been dropped from great heights into roles that they are not skilled nor experienced in but have found themselves shafted into - I have again on this blogg asked that WE don't start to fight amongst ourselves as this is NOT what WE asked for but that WE regardless of grade look after each other and try and remind ourselves that this is political and not what the majority of us originally signed up for !!

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