Press Release: Working Links’ Gwent operation receives harsh criticism from HMI Probation

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 Press Statement  

19 April 2017 - Immediate Release

Working Links’ Gwent operation receives harsh criticism from HMI Probation

HMI Probation have published yet another damning report of private probation providers, this time for the area of Gwent owned by Working Links which last year was purchased by the German based venture capitalists Aurelius.

Napo is deeply concerned that this report confirms the key operational issues that our members have been reporting to us.

Since taking over three Community Rehabilitation Companies in 2015, including those covering the West and South West of England, Working Links has implemented an operational model that Napo believes places the public at risk of serious harm.

As stated by the Chief Inspector Dame Glenys Stacey, offenders under supervision are receiving little more than a telephone call every six weeks which is wholly unacceptable. This coupled with significant staff cuts of around 600 jobs in total, has resulted in very little practical work being carried out to reduce reoffending.

General Secretary Ian Lawrence said: “It is clear from this report and from our own intelligence that Working Links are more focused on desperate attempts to balance the books than delivering a quality service for the community. We have, and will continue to publically campaign against Working Links’ dangerous operating model, the continued staff cuts and attempts to vary contractual arrangements without negotiation, which we believe have a direct impact on public safety and the ability to turn people’s lives around.”

Napo is increasingly concerned that time after time HMI Probation reports are repeating the unions concerns across the country on the poor performance of private providers. The once award winning probation service is now in chaos and the public and service users are being let down on this failed social experiment. Napo are calling for an urgent inquiry into Transforming Rehabilitation, the full cost to the taxpayer, the sustainability of the companies and their continued failure to deliver an effective service.

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.