Napo Press Release: Union accuses Ministers of misleading the public about probation reforms

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Press Statement  

20 July 2017 - Immediate Release

Union accuses Ministers of misleading the public about probation reforms

Responding to last night’s Ministerial statements on probation reform, the leader of the largest probation union accused the Government of misleading the public over the true impact of reforms to the probation service.

Ian Lawrence, General Secretary of Napo said: “The notion that the current difficulties besetting probation were unforeseeable is a gross distortion of the facts, and is an insult to staff who have been put under huge pressure by increased caseloads and the unsafe operational models introduced by many of the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies.”

He continued: “Napo is especially angry at the contradictory claims by Ministers about 'Through the Gate' support services for offenders after a recent report by HM Inspector of Probation revealed that this much vaunted initiative is in fact a total shambles.”

The union has been campaigning through Parliament for an enquiry into the probation reforms in 2014 which saw a gold standard award service divided into a National Probation Service and 21 companies run by private providers including the catering company Sodexo and facilities management specialists Interserve.

Ian Lawrence added: “While Napo stands ready to work with Ministers to see improved standards of delivery, we believe that failing CRC contracts ought to be returned to public control.

“Our members, whose hard work has at least been acknowledged by Ministers, expect urgent action to alleviate unrealistic workloads, stressful working environments and their pay which has reduced by 21% in real-term value over the last seven years.”

Ends.

For further information and possible media opportunities please contact Napo General Secretary Ian Lawrence on 07788 118005 or Tania Bassett (lead for media and parliamentary issues) on 0790 4184195.