Napo Press Release: Napo welcomes HMIP report on National Probation Service; Staff shortages pose a direct risk to the public.

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Napo welcomes HMIP report on National Probation Service; Staff shortages pose a direct risk to the public.

Today Her Majesty’s Inspector for Probation has published a damning report on the functionality of the National Probation Service (NPS). With 615 staff vacancies across England and Wales the NPS is now struggling to cope with demand as staff experience ever increasing workloads.

According to the Inspector 68% of staff said they failed to complete their weekly management tasks with 60% of staff reportedly over worked (i.e. above 100% on the workload management tool). Some staff such as victim liaison officers have over 200 cases to manage. As a result, the report highlights that inexperienced staff are being expected to manage complex cases with little support from over worked and over stretched managers. The report clearly states that although staff are trying their best to achieve they are being hampered. Alongside this the report states that staff are further hampered by a poor facilities management service resulting in poor working conditions.

Ian Lawrence General Secretary said: “This report vindicates what Napo has been saying since the NPS was formed 5 years ago. It is not sustainable in its current form and as such we have seen an increase in Serious Further Offences, staff burn out and members reporting a lack of time to complete meaningful work with clients. The report also states that there is no strategic plan for following up on Serious Further Offences for lessons learnt to be shared with staff. This is wholly unacceptable. The NPS has chosen to treat its staff in a draconian way should an SFO occur yet are failing to put in place the vary basics themselves.”

Napo is calling for an urgent review of the NPS and are campaigning to have it taken out of the civil service and to be fully reunified and brought back into public ownership. Ian Lawrence also said: “Probation is a vital service for protecting the public and rehabilitating clients back into society. Since it’s part privatisation introduced by Chris Grayling, it has been brought to its knees. The government must now listen to the Unions and the workforce and restore the service to the award winning status it was before.”

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For more information: Tania Bassett, National Official Press, Parliament and Campaigns 020 7223 4887