Ministry of Justice
1,500 new probation officers to protect the public
More than 1,500 new trainee probation officers have been hired this year – hitting the government’s target while helping to cut crime, make streets safer and protect the public.
- record recruitment drive hits target in push to cut crime and make streets safer
- Probation Minister vows to tackle reoffending and recruit further 1,500 trainees
- £300 million extra funding for the Probation Service over last 2 years
The record recruitment drive has seen people from diverse backgrounds across the country commit to be trainee probation officers, including teachers, university graduates and a pub landlord who has switched from pulling pints to protecting the public.
Thanks to an extra £300 million investment in the Probation Service over the last 2 years, a further 1,500 trainee probation officers will be taken on in 2022-23, keeping our streets safer and preventing future crime.
The successful recruitment honours a commitment made in the government’s Beating Crime Plan published last July.
With around 80 percent of offenders having at least one previous caution or conviction, probation officers play a vital role in supervising and rehabilitating people who have committed crime. They also ensure they attend drug or alcohol treatment and gain access to help with accommodation and education - reducing the risk of further offending.
Figures released yesterday (19 May 2022) show that in the financial year 2021/22, 1,518 people enrolled on the Probation Service’s trainee probation officer scheme, and nearly 1 in 6 were from an ethnic minority background.
Probation Minister, Kit Malthouse yesterday said:
Making the streets safer is one of our top priorities so we are giving the Probation Service the resources they need to hold offenders to account, cut crime and reduce the number of victims.
Probation officers play an invaluable role in protecting the public and so we are boosting their numbers – meaning there are more people keeping a watchful eye on offenders and ensuring they reform their criminal ways.
The staffing boost is increasing the amount of face-to-face time that staff have with offenders so they can better protect the community and support rehabilitation.
Mark Feasey is based with the Yorkshire and the Humber regional Probation Service and made the switch from pub landlord via the trainee probation officer route. He yesterday said:
It’s a great career. I get to work with people to help them change their lives and when I’m able to support someone to do that, the rewards are huge.
We are all human; we can all make mistakes and we’ve all got potential. Helping people break that cycle of offending drives me every day.
The government is also tagging even more offenders as part of its drive to cut crime. Since alcohol tags were launched a year ago as part of government plans to curb drink-fuelled crime, 3,121 offenders have been monitored, with more than 3,000 staying sober. By 2025 around 12,000 offenders will have had their drinking monitored by sobriety tags – part of a £183 million expansion of electronic monitoring.
As well as alcohol tags, GPS monitoring equipment has been rolled out across half of England and Wales. Burglars, robbers and thieves who have served a prison sentence of a year or more are tagged on release and tracked, so if they reoffend police can quickly catch them.
Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) is currently hiring trainee probation officers across England and Wales. Anyone interested in becoming a probation officer should visit Probation Service (traintobeaprobationofficer.com)
Notes to Editors
- The government reunified the Probation Service in June last year with a permanent uplift of £155 million extra investment – a 15 per cent increase on 2019-20 funding.
- GPS monitoring equipment is now deployed across 19 police force areas – roughly half of England and Wales.
- HMPPS is currently hiring trainee probation officers across England and Wales. Users should be directed to: Probation Service (traintobeaprobationofficer.com)
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