Privatising The Probation Service

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2013 Police & Justice Conference
13 June 2013

This conference condemns and is opposed to the decision made on 9th May 2013 by the Ministry of Justice to forge one new National Probation Service for England and Wales to manage high risk cases whilst the majority of the current work undertaken will be privatised.

The Government propose to

1)Dismantle the very bodies who have the experience, professionalism and track records of delivering this work – the current probation Trusts – create a small public probation service as a national agency of the Ministry of Justice to oversee the most serious offenders, employing a minority of current probation staff to do this work.

2)Not permit probation trusts, as public sector bodies to bid for this work ,only allowing it to be sold in the market . Introduce a payments by results contract, meaning that only those companies with significant investment behind them will be contenders. These private companies will be expected to manage low and medium risk offenders which may include domestic abuse cases, child protection issues and prolific burglars. It will amount to a disjointed system and fragmented provision.The model does not take into account the demands of the more difficult cases ,and may well put the public at risk.

3)Transfer the majority of probation staff to the new private sector providers of probation services.

Conference calls on the SGE to

a)Continue to campaign against the privatisation of the probation service.

b)Work with opposition MPs and other stakeholders to highlight the dangers and risks in privatising this essential service.

c)Support Probation Trusts in keeping all probation work in the public sector.

d)Protect the interests of any probation staff who are transferred to the private sector in relation to Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) and Pension provision .