Private firm wins probation contract in London

Article from BBC website today – of course this is factually incorrect as London Probation management decided to be a subcontractor of Serco and our former ACO Liz Calderbank is spot on in her comments – Vance

A private security company has won a contract to supervise offenders on probation doing unpaid work in the community.
It is the first time a major area of probation work has been out-sourced to the private sector.
The company, Serco, in a joint bid with the London Probation Trust, won the contract to run community payback schemes across London.
About 15,000 offenders are given the sentence every year.
The Ministry of Justice said the four-year contract would save taxpayers £25m.
The government has proposed opening up more community sentence services to the private and voluntary sector as part of its review into probation.
Earlier this week, the chief inspector of probation for England and Wales, Liz Calderbank, warned about the dangers of contracting out probation services.
Writing in the inspectorate’s annual report, Ms Calderbank said she had “concerns” the plans would make it harder to manage medium-risk offenders who commit most serious further offences.
She said it would be “regrettable” if services became fragmented as a result of more providers being involved, as this would increase the potential for communication problems.
Serco was chosen for the London contract ahead of consortia involving Sodexo/Essex Probation Trust; and Mitie/A4E.