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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 15, 2005: Gagging Chief Officers of Probation?

A leaked letter from National Probation Service Director Roger Hill to Chief Officers of Probation appears to suggest that they are forbidden to lobby against the proposals to restructure the Service. This compares with the way Chief Police Officers were encouraged to lobby for 90 days detention to deal with terrorism. The letter was dated November 7, when chief police officers were lobbying MPs over anti-terror measures, backed by the home secretary.

In the letter, which has been reported by the BBC and the Guardian, Mr Hill writes that he aims to:

“formally to remind you of your responsibilities in your roles as statutory office holders, ministerial appointees and civil servants.”

"You should not engage in lobbying activity, you must not promulgate misinformation (eg contestability is privatisation) and you should avoid any action that might suggest that you are encouraging staff to lobby against government policy."

Though trades unions are entitled to respond to appropriate issues as they wish, writes Mr Hill, chief officers as leaders have particular responsibilities:

"The legitimate way to express your views is by responding to the consultation and I continue to expect and encourage you to do that."

Shadow home secretary David Davis was quoted by the BBC as stating that:

"On the one hand they want to stop chief probation officers expressing their honest opinions and on the other they encourage chief constables to try to influence the outcome of a parliamentary debate in their favour. They can't have it both ways."

The assistant general secretary of probation union Napo, Harry Fletcher, was reported in the Guardian stating that:

&"It's gross hypocrisy in the week that Charles Clarke was telling police officers to lobby at the same time his emissary was telling probation officers not to do so."