Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Do you want the Probation Service privatised?

Home Secretary John Reid is attempting to win over Labour backbenchers after a revolt which saw the government narrowly win a vote to privatise the Probation Service.

MPs voted 293 to 268 in favour of the Bill. Critics say privatising the probation service would increase reoffending rates and destroy "local connections".

Labour MP Neil Gerrard said companies with no experience of handling offenders would end up "poaching" staff from the Probation Service.
Mr Gerrard said: "What we end up with is a mass of different providers and we lose a national service and you start to get fragmentation. It is very much more difficult then to control what is going on and we lose all the local connections that are there at the moment."

The Liberal Democrats are opposed to all of the bill and the Conservatives opposed to large parts of it. So much opposition will mean voting will be close for the third reading in the Commons.

In an attempt to pacify opponents the government has tabled its own amendment to exclude the writing of court reports on offenders from the provisions of the Bill.

Home Office Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: "It is not about killing off the Probation Service, it is about supporting the work of probation officers but supplementing that through other providers."

The government says its reforms are essential to improving public safety.

Q. Should the Probation service be privatised?

To view the results go to:


Anonymous said...

yet more contracts 'arranged,' with a nod and a wink, the snouts in the trough just get greedier, currently in Leeds, 'outsourced,' probation functions are not bidded for and the ones who get it (CRI) boast about what they are going to get well before they get it....corruption, these people make me sick

Daily Referendum said...


It does seem like there is a mad rush to loot the coffers before access to them is removed.