Napo, the largest trade union in the England and Wales probation service, today welcomed many of the findings in the Chief Inspectors report into the National Probation Service Wales but called for all work to be taken into public ownership.
Whilst acknowledging the positive conclusions about the quality of leadership and enthusiasm of staff, Napo General Secretary, Ian Lawrence, said that: “the excellent efforts of staff in maintaining service standards and contact with the Welsh Government were being maintained in spite of the damage that has been caused since the division of probation functions prior to the part privatisation of the service in 2014”.
Napo has conducted a high profile campaign, which has highlighted a number of serious failings following implementation of the Transforming Rehabilitation project by the then Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling. The union says that the HMIP report on NPS Wales, whilst indicating some good results does nevertheless highlight shortfalls in the sharing of vital information between various agencies, high staff workloads and unacceptably long waiting lists for medium risk male sex-offenders.
Ian Lawrence said: “The rating of the NPS in Wales as ‘good’ is obviously welcomed. However, Napo does not believe that the UK Government’s current plan to remarketise probation services makes sense or that services such as community payback and rehabilitative programmes should be left in the hands of failing private companies whose sole motivation is profit. We need to see a change of direction from Westminster to take all probation work back into public ownership and control to ensure consistency and public safety.’