Steve Slams Probation Service Proposals(October 30, 2013)
Walton MP, Steve Rotheram has spoken out after the Labour Party revealed exactly how many offenders on Merseyside are to be handed over to private companies to manage their rehabilitation.
The Government has cut probation staff by almost 7% since they came to office and there are plans to axe even more whilst privatising large chunks of the service.
Steve explained, “Hundreds of convicted criminals in the Merseyside Probation area could soon be supervised by G4S and Serco as private sector companies make a profit out of our criminal justice system.
“A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Labour Party has revealed that private sector companies will take charge of the Merseyside Probation Service Trust portfolio of 5,466 mid to low level offenders. This is an enormous number of convicted criminals passing into the hands of companies driven, not by probation targets but by profits.
“You can’t take risks with public safety yet this is precisely what the Government is doing with their reckless plans to privatise the Probation Service. Handing over supervision for serious and violent offenders to the same companies that time and again let down the taxpayer is a recipe for disaster.
“The public need to be confident that those under supervision in our communities aren’t part of some giant experiment.”
The former Lord Mayor of Liverpool went on to speak out against the proposal to split the probation service into “high and low” risk offenders. This proposal would eliminate the existing 35 regional probation trusts and create a New National Probation Service for high risk offenders and 21 New Community Rehabilitation Companies which would be run by the private sector.
“The Government’s plans to split the service up would be a logistical nightmare and would create uncertainty and bureaucracy in the system. Any probation expert will tell you that no individual’s case is the same and offender risk is a dynamic equation which is not suited to being allocated into categories or into two totally different sections of the probation service.
“Whist it may sound like a good idea on the face of it, the reality is some individual’s crimes escalate in severity and these are the individuals who may fall through the cracks of a disjointed probation system, putting the public at greater risk”.