Police chief's concerns over privatisation of probation services

York Press: Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick

THE outsourcing of probation services "will either work very well or very badly", a senior North Yorkshire Police officer has warned.

National plans will come into force later this year which will see the privatisation of probation work with offenders, with private companies made responsible for overseeing all but the most difficult to handle offenders during sentence.

Under a payments by result scheme, they will receive bonuses for offenders who do not reoffend, but the decision has already proved controversial with members of the National Association of Probation Officers in York walking out in part of a national strike in November.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick was speaking at the Safer York Partnership Crime Summit, when he addressed concerns about the changes, and said it was unclear what the new service would look like, and how well the changes to the probation service would work.

He said: "It doesn't help that the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office seem further apart at the moment than they have in years and years.

"Probation provision will cease and we will have suppliers in place in the autumn. They will deal with 75-80 per cent of probation work, the lower level offenders. Those are the ones who generate the highest volume of crime. That will either work very well or very badly."

Mr Madgwick said that regardless of the national changes to the probation service, the key would be for police to work with partner agencies to improve rehabilitation rates.

He said: "Have we effectively rehabilitated enough offenders? No. That is costing this community and country an awful lot of money, and impacting on peoples' lives."

Mr Madgwick said that as well as the probation service, "the CPS is under a huge amount of pressure, and there are further cuts coming down the line", and changes would also have to be made to the way police work, to ensure work more closely with the CPS in order for prosecutions can be made successfully.

He said: "We, as a police service, have to get better at what we do in investigations."

Comments (3)

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10:33am Wed 2 Apr 14

BL2 says...

"Outsourcing", in general, does NOT work. It increases cost, removes accountability, loses expertise and raises time-scales for maintenance / projects / etc.
It should NEVER be considered for public services full stop!
"Outsourcing", in general, does NOT work. It increases cost, removes accountability, loses expertise and raises time-scales for maintenance / projects / etc. It should NEVER be considered for public services full stop! BL2
  • Score: 10

11:09am Wed 2 Apr 14

ian923 says...

In general the standard of police investigation has dropped considerably in the last 20 years, apart from specialist officers.By outsourcing probation work you are not going to achieve the same standards as there is a lack of dedication and committment. The likelihood therefore is that this scheme will end badly.
In general the standard of police investigation has dropped considerably in the last 20 years, apart from specialist officers.By outsourcing probation work you are not going to achieve the same standards as there is a lack of dedication and committment. The likelihood therefore is that this scheme will end badly. ian923
  • Score: 5

4:49pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Sillybillies says...

ian923 wrote:
In general the standard of police investigation has dropped considerably in the last 20 years, apart from specialist officers.By outsourcing probation work you are not going to achieve the same standards as there is a lack of dedication and committment. The likelihood therefore is that this scheme will end badly.
What is the probation service to do with the police? Never mind all the "partner agencies" bilge, the police should concentrate upon locking criminals up and putting together adequate prosecution files, areas in which they are currently failing miserably. Nor am I impressed with the current probation service which reports suggest are failing to supervise criminals properly. Privatisation might bring about improvement.
[quote][p][bold]ian923[/bold] wrote: In general the standard of police investigation has dropped considerably in the last 20 years, apart from specialist officers.By outsourcing probation work you are not going to achieve the same standards as there is a lack of dedication and committment. The likelihood therefore is that this scheme will end badly.[/p][/quote]What is the probation service to do with the police? Never mind all the "partner agencies" bilge, the police should concentrate upon locking criminals up and putting together adequate prosecution files, areas in which they are currently failing miserably. Nor am I impressed with the current probation service which reports suggest are failing to supervise criminals properly. Privatisation might bring about improvement. Sillybillies
  • Score: -1

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