The Government has published its response to a consultation on the future of probation services in England and Wales. Under new arrangements, responsibility for the supervision of offenders on probation will return to the public sector, reversing a decision in 2014 to part-privatise the service.
Responding to the announcement, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: “I wholeheartedly welcome this move. The idea of operating offender rehabilitation as a commercial enterprise was flawed from the very beginning and I’m relieved the Government has finally seen sense.
“The public will be safer under the new unified system and importantly offenders will receive the support and intervention they need to stop them reoffending.
“Of course, we will need to carefully examine any detail on the proposed changes. However, I’m pleased PCCs are being invited to be part of the development process, working with the very best local providers to make our communities safer and regain public trust. That process is beginning now and we look forward to presenting our ideas and experience to the Ministry of Justice this summer.
“The idea that governance will continue to be provided through 11 regions still concerns me as this undermines the importance of local control and accountability. I will be arguing for more smaller regions and governance, to ensure that service provision is more in touch with local communities and neighbourhoods.”
Hardyal Dhindsa worked in probation for 30 years, firstly as a probation officer and lastly as a Strategic Manager in a criminal justice agency overseeing a £22m budget and 500 personnel.
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Posted on Friday 17th May 2019