Decision Maker: Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
7.1 Becky Canning, National Probation Service (NPS) and Lucien Spencer, Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) presented their reports to the Committee. During the questions and discussion that followed, the following key points were highlighted:
· The CRC were unable to break down the attendance and attrition data at a local level. They reported across the London and Thames Valley region as per their contractual obligations.
· The CRC was subject to annual inspections and had just had its third inspection in 4 years.
· There was a range of Service level agreements built into the CRC contract and penalties for not meeting certain targets. The CRC were working with supply chains to measure quality of services. For example Safer Street commissioned by MOPAC included alcohol and abstinence monitoring.
· The 2017 HMIP inspection had challenging recommendations, following a request regarding the safeguarding training from a Committee member, the Committee heard that all CRC staff had now had safeguarding training.
· The NPS had access to the Violent and Sexual Offender register. All NPS staff who used it needed Met Police vetting. The NPS’s IT had been updated. There was now better information sharing and the Police and Probation Services were better working together.
· Following a question requesting information on what the NPS had undertaken around the HMIP recommendation 4 on improving understanding of rehabilitation activity; the Committee were informed that this had been improved with the new framework and web-based toolkit and the increased use of the accredited programme. There was still more work to be done in this area.
· A question was asked on what action had taken place around HMIP recommendation 2 to the CRC noting that there were no interventions targeted at the BAME Community despite 51% BAME service users. The Committee heard that all managers had undergone training on unconscious bias. The staff employed reflected the local community they served with 70% of staff being from Black or minority ethnic backgrounds. There were currently two non-accredited programmes for women “Thinking Ahead for Women” and the “Heal Programme”. Women offenders were managed by women.
· Following a question on the HMIP recommendation 3 to the CRC on unpaid work, the Committee heard that there had been improvements but delivery was complex. Sometimes there was a need to over-subscribe individuals to community groups to ensure that if somebody didn’t attend there were enough people to commit to the work agreed for the partner organisations. More work was being undertaken to strategically look at this issue.
· There was an increased focus on workload of staff at the CRC and not just numbers on the caseload to look more holistically at staff’s wellbeing.
That the report be noted and Becky Canning and Lucien Spencer be thanked for attending.
Publication date: 29/01/2019
Date of decision: 19/12/2018
Decided at meeting: 19/12/2018 - Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee