Ministry of Justice
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Director of new National Probation Service announced

A director has been chosen to lead the new National Probation Service (NPS) after the candidate who was due to take up the post stepped down for personal reasons.

Colin Allars, the current director of probation within the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), has been chosen to take up the new role following Mike Maiden’s withdrawal after an initial appointment in August this year.

Sarah Payne’s appointment as director of the NPS in Wales is unaffected and the two will work together to lead the new service. It is due to launch in April 2014 and tasked with protecting the public from 30,000 of the most dangerous offenders in England and Wales each year.

The appointments mark a crucial step forward in the delivery of our wide ranging reforms to the way offenders are rehabilitated that will help tackle the country’s stubbornly high reoffending rates.

The new directors will work alongside private and voluntary sector organisations who will be delivering rehabilitation services to low and medium risk offenders through 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies across England and Wales.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said:

“Unfortunately personal family reasons have meant that Mike Maiden is no longer able to take up this role. We wish him all the best.

“I am delighted that Colin Allars has accepted the challenge to lead the NPS in England. His experience and passion for the service make him well qualified to lead this new and critical body.”

Under radical changes to probation set out in May this year the NPS will work alongside a range of private and voluntary sector organisations replacing the existing 35 probation trusts. It will have overall responsibility for public protection, building upon the expertise and professionalism of the existing service.

The NPS will also be charged with ensuring tough action is taken where lower level offenders breach the terms of their licence or community order, including missing appointments, refusing to engage with their rehabilitation or slipping back into drugs and alcohol abuse.

Commenting on his appointment Colin Allars said:

“Probation has a critical part to play in protecting the public and reducing reoffending. I look forward to taking on this important role, keeping communities safe from serious offenders.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Colin Allars is currently the board director responsible for probation trusts and contracted services. He has experience of probation both as a former director of offender management in the South West and as an agency board member responsible for probation for the last two and a half years.
  2. Sarah Payne is currently the Chief Executive of the Wales Probation Trust and has previously worked as the Chief Executive of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) England & Wales (now Platform 51). She has also held posts in the Home Office and NOMS. Her new role will cover the management of both prisons and probation services in Wales.

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