CAFCASS guilty of bad form on pay

News reaches me of a pay award to Cafcass staff. Ordinarily, and especially on top of Christmas, that might bring a bit of festive cheer. Unfortunately, Cafcass neglected to inform anyone of the decision to implement the remit they were given by the Minister, which has gone down as badly as a mouldy mince pie with their staff.

Feedback here indicates that people are livid about this situation as well as the paltry nature of the award. That nobody could even pick up a phone and at least give us the bad news directly is extraordinary.

Far from staff being grateful that they have received the award before Christmas, there is understandable speculation that it was done that way to avoid a ballot, and that Cafcass pay roll must have already been instructed to make the payment by the time it was announced. It has been described to me as an ‘own goal’, and that staff are angry about being treated this way.

I will of course be writing to the Chief Executive and hope that we will secure a proper explanation soon. Given the positive industrial relations that have been established and the rise in our membership in Cafcass we need to get things back on track.

Parliamentary Question on SFO

Liz Saville Roberts placed a written questions to the MoJ on SFOs. She received an answer last week.


To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Serious Further Offence investigations in which the supervising body was (a) the National Probation Service and (b) a Community Rehabilitation Company there were in each of the last four years.

Answer from, Probation Minister, Rory Stewart

A Serious Further Offence (SFO) review is undertaken where an offender under statutory supervision in the community is charged with a qualifying offence – a “notification”. Not every offender charged with an SFO will eventually be convicted of an SFO.

Serious further offences are rare. Fewer than 0.5% of offenders under statutory supervision are convicted of serious further offences. Nonetheless, every single serious further offence is taken extremely seriously, and in all cases a review is carried out to identify any lessons for the better management of future cases.

The table below provides the number of serious further offences (SFOs) investigations (reviews) in which the supervising body was (a) the National Probation Service (NPS) and (b) a Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) completed between April 2015 and November 2018





2018-2019 (YTD)
















1. The numbers for 2016-2017 differ slightly from those published in PQ 2737. Since we produced the data for that PQ, there have been updates recorded on the database e.g. as a result of quality assurance which can result in clarification that the case did not meet the SFO criteria or revision and resubmission of reviews on a different date.

2. We are unable to provide data for 2014-15 in this format as the data includes reviews completed by the former Probation Trusts.

The findings of SFO reviews are made available to victims or the families of victims following conviction for the most serious offences

SFO reviews completed on cases notified on or after 1 April 2018 are shared in full including conclusions and recommendations, with a) the victim and b) the families of a victim of homicide. Minor redactions may be required - for example, to protect third party data.

Conclusions and recommendations from SFO reviews notified prior to 1 April 2018 are shared in a Victim Summary Report (VSR) which reflects the findings of the full review.

We will try and get a breakdown of where these SFOs occurred but notwithstanding the apparent reduction in the Year to date figures, they make for some grim reading.

As an aside, and not surprisingly in light of the numbers of cases, we are receiving more requests from members involved in inquests for representation. In line with the directive given to us at the Southport AGM we will resist attempts at ‘scapegoating’ our members. For its become very clear that if you leave your job and are then involved in giving evidence to an inquest down the line, its unlikely that your previous employer will assist you.

Even more reason to Join Napo.

A new Welsh Labour leader at the Senned

Good news for our campaign against TR2 reaches us from Napo Cymru who tell me that Mark Drakeford who included “A Public Sector Probation Service” in his leadership campaign pledges, has been appointed as the new Labour Leader in the Welsh Assembly.

I will obviously send congratulations to Mark and hope that we can arrange a meeting soon. I am told by our activists that Mark is very keen to assist us in Wales with the project that will see the handing back of Offender Management work from the CRC as well as our wider campaign to try and prevent TR2.
Why this Brexit deal is seriously flawed

As I write, we await another statement from the Prime Minister to explain where her Government is at regarding the ‘best deal on offer’. That’s the one that was so good it was not allowed to be voted on last Monday in scenes that, even by Parliaments standards, were quite unprecedented.

Anyway, whilst we await more news here is the latest TUC view on the negotiated deal that you may wish to look at. CLICK HERE

Showing Racism the Red Card

It's a well established fact that ever since the Referendum, there has been a rise in Hate Crime. Much of this has manifested itself in our communities  at levels which rarely get publicity unless they involve serious violence or feature on social media.

Now we have seen recent examples of racial abuse (including anti-semitism) openly returning to football stadiums. It takes me back to the days in the 70s and 80s when black players were regularly ridiculed - sometimes even by their own managers - let alone the spectators, and often the recipients of threats of violence.

I accept that football as far as some of our members are concerned is not necessarily a game for the masses and often sets some bad examples. Yet the wider point is that the game for all of its weaknesses, provides a powerful focal point for young people in term of multi-faith and multi-cultural engagement.

This is especially the case within our education system where many football clubs are involved in community schemes and where organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card supplement this work.

Whether you are a fan or not, please consider linking in to the news about the initiatives that SRRC are involved in and spread the word amongst your friends and neighbours.

Facebook users can link into the campaign here:

http://5Be sure to opt in to Napo find out what’s going on!

One of the most difficult conversations I have with members who may be phoning in with a query or with a valued opinion, are those where it is clear that the caller has not referenced the wealth of information previously issued by Napo HQ, let alone this weekly Blog post.

One of the requirements of the new Data Protection legislation is that members who pay a fee to an organisation must now indicate their willingness to receive certain types of information electronically.

Thats why you regularly receive prompts from Napo HQ to ‘opt in’ to continue receiving publications such as Napo Magazine and our News on Friday member Mail outs.

With a new year deadline approaching we are doing all that we can to remind our members of why its so important to keep yourself informed. So please make sure you sign up for the Monday Blog HERE and respond to future emails about joining the other Napo mailing lists as they come to you.






Blog type: 
General Secretary's Blog