Four probation officers have been suspended following a report criticising the “collective failure” of the London Probation Service to assess the risk posed by two offenders who murdered while under supervision.
The Home Secretary confirmed the suspensions today following a report by the chief inspector of probation on Damien Hanson and Elliot White, who were convicted of the murder of financier John Monkton and the attempted murder of his wife in December 2005.
Both men were under the supervision of the London Probation Service at the time the crimes were committed in November 2004.
The report, published today, said the service had failed to identify the risk posed by Hanson and to manage White’s compliance with his drug treatment and testing order.
Outlining a catalogue of “serious deficiencies” in the way the cases were handled, the report identified a lack of managerial responsibility and “poor” organisational arrangements.
Publishing the report today, Andrew Bridges, the chief inspector of probation, said:
“We are very critical of the fact that the individuals who found themselves having to deal with these cases, under unsatisfactory organisational arrangements, did not show greater initiative in making decisions and taking action to ensure that the cases were better managed despite their difficulties.
“It would be wrong to suggest that the mismanagement of these two cases reflects a poor standard that is currently widespread among probation staff. Nevertheless, our report is clear that the mismanagement of these cases did fail to reduce the risk posed to the public by these two men.”
Report from: www.inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmiprobation