‘Poor supervision’ will intensify risk

Dangerous offenders could be inadequately supervised under the
recently created National Offender Management Service, civil
servants have warned.

A risk register drawn up as part of the government’s business
plan for Noms for 2005-6 shows a “very high” risk of inadequate
supervision caused by the loss of “key skills” of front-line
probation staff.

Harry Fletcher, general secretary of probation officers’ union
Napo, said probation staff would be lost or be “diverted into
bureaucracy” through Noms, which brings together the prison and
probation services.

Noms has been viewed with increasing hostility by unions since
it was created in 2004 after a perceived lack of consultation.

The Management of Offenders and Sentencing Bill which proposed
measures to underpin the development of Noms, was dropped before
the dissolution of parliament two weeks ago but is expected to be
resurrected if Labour wins the general election. Last week,
Labour’s manifesto reiterated the party’s support for Noms.

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