The Government's campaign to convince the public that this is the best deal on offer intensifies. No, not Brexit this time, but the increasingly desperate attempt to justify the policy to merely repeat the mistakes of the past four and a half years and rebadge another selling out of Probation.
I am not sure just how many civil servants are engaged in formulating and publishing this material but last week we received yet another of those GOV.UK bulletins containing a compendium of documents which attempted to explain the inexplicable.
See them all here and laugh/cry or both according to your emotions
Our initial analysis suggests that the service level specification for CRCs in a 10 Region structure is more detailed than anything we have seen before, but which must be hugely more expensive than previous baselines.
Nevertheless, and as I made clear at last week’s occasionally feisty exchange with senior HMPPS/MoJ management at one of our regular engagement meetings, it looks like much of this is a rehash of the flawed indicators that were put in place under transforming rehabilitation.
Particularly insidious is the paper entitled ‘Warming the Market’, which is a less than subtle attempt to disguise a (highly insensitive to beleaguered staff) strategy to pull out all the stops and make things easier for would be competitors.
The cost of all this must be huge, and there will be many who will be asking why similar efforts have not been made to address the problems that exist within the current CRC contracts. An easy step would be paying the NPS pay rates to CRC staff for starters, before bootlicking the tried (and in most cases) hopelessly failed private providers.
The word disgraceful does not even begin to describe it!
More for us here to use in our campaign work for sure.
Hardly a day passes in the Greater London Area without news of another life lost to a violent incident, more often than not by way of an assault with a knife. The statistics suggest that the rise in this particular crime is endemic and is another depressing addition to those that show a rise in firearm related offences.
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has sent me their latest report Young people, violence and knives. The authors have come up with some very interesting conclusions which challenge the popular perceptions among the public and politicians that the way to tackle the problem is to simply increase ‘stop and search’ which statistically has had no discernible impact on the carrying and use of this particular weapon, and has further alienated sections of communities against the police.
The report posits the use of alternative desistence driven initiatives, such as community focused schemes that have been trialled in the USA and Scotland by way of the Violence Reduction Unit.
The report states that police-led interventions and tougher sentencing have, at best, been ineffective and at worst, been counterproductive. By contrast, public health approaches that treat violence like a contagion, and which require mapping, analysis, and the planning of interventions. These indicate that high levels of violence can be reduced by community action and the provision of access to services such as those connected to mental health, drugs, alcohol addiction and housing services, subject as always to the appropriate investment and political commitment being made.
RMT has asked if TUCG unions could share the petition below on their Twitter/ Facebook accounts and if members would consider forwarding it on. It is calling for opposition to driver only trains and a guard on every train. RMT have guards over a number of rail companies who have been taking strike action and been in disputes for over two years now and supporting this petition would be appreciated.
Government to seek ‘volunteers’ to help the NHS
It comes to something when those politicians who have made such a hash of this great institution now have the gall to ask the public to step in and carry out the work that needs to be done by trained professionals. Yes, that’s the same politicians whose policies are responsible for bringing the NHS to its knees in some of the most important areas of its operations.
Perhaps they could volunteer themselves and see how they like it?