Mayor responds to HMIP report on probation services

15 December 2016

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Today’s report is deeply alarming and shows that London’s probation service is simply not working, with Londoners significantly more at risk as a result of the upheaval caused by privatisation. Probation officers are struggling with unmanageably high caseloads, there is a lack of communication with courts, inexperienced officers, extremely poor oversight, a lack of senior management focus and control and some offenders never even meet their probation officer.

“Reoffending costs London almost £2.3bn each year, yet some offenders are, unbelievably, being lost from the system entirely, receiving no support at all as they attempt to rehabilitate and reintegrate into society. This is simply unacceptable.

“In response to today’s report, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is willing to support the special taskforce set up by the Ministry of Justice to stabilise the service and improve public safety. We will provide London-specific expertise and guidance to the taskforce, in order to improve public safety in London.

“In the longer term, I will continue to make the case to the government that responsibility for probation services in London should be devolved to City Hall, so we can drive the very necessary long-lasting improvements that will cut reoffending, reduce crime, improve public safety and save the taxpayer money.”

 

Notes to editors

·         The HMIP Report can be read here: www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation

·         The Deputy Mayor for Policing And Crime has requested that the Ministry of Justice gives us sight of the current contract, provides regular performance improvement updates and gives MOPAC a seat on the national offender management task force. Talks with the Ministry of Justice, about devolving responsibility for probation to MOPAC are ongoing.

·         The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, has met with MTC Novo, the parent company of London Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), to discuss the issues highlighted in the HMIP report.

·         Independent research commissioned by MOPAC estimates that reoffending costs the London criminal justice service almost £2.3bn every year.