Probation: Vacancies

Home Department written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vacancies for (a) probation officers and (b) probation service officers there were for each probation area on the latest date for which figures are available.

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Not all probation areas in the national probation service operate a set establishment against which vacant posts can be measured. As a more representative alternative, probation areas are required to report regularly on the number of active vacancies they have. An active vacancy is one which a probation area is actively trying to fill through a recruitment process.

Figures for 31 March 2006 show that there were a total of 8,262.50 full-time equivalent probation officers in post in England and Wales. On the same date, there were 227.70 full-time equivalent vacancies that were actively being recruited to. Therefore active vacancies accounted for 2.68 per cent. of the total posts available at that time.

Additionally, the national probation service employs 6,544.28 full-time equivalent probation service officers, who also deliver front-line services to offenders. At this time, there were 347.30 full-time equivalent vacancies, equating to 5.04 per cent. of the total posts available.

The figures presented in the table show active vacancies for each area, in terms of full-time equivalent value, for the probation officer and probation service officer grades at the close of Quarter four 05/06 (1 January to 31 March 2006). We are not able to provide a breakdown for the Greater Manchester or West Midlands probation areas as they are currently unable to provide data on active vacancies. We are also not able to provide vacancy figures for Merseyside probation area as they are not actively recruiting.

Probation Officer and Probation Service officers vacancies, as at 31 March 2006
Area Vacancies (all grades) PO vacancies PO vacancies (as a percentage of total PO posts( 1) ) PSO vacancies PSO vacancies (as a percentage of total PSO posts( 1) )
Avon and Somerset 20.00 6.50 3.07 6.10 3.12
Bedfordshire 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Cambridgeshire 10.42 5.60 5.64 4.60 5.27
Cheshire 5.56 0.00 0.00 2.50 1.95
Cumbria 9.69 1.00 1.30 4.00 9.60
Derbyshire 11.50 1.50 1.08 4.00 3.52
Devon and Cornwall 9.10 3.40 1.72 1.00 0.68
Dorset 5.80 3.00 3.41 0.30 0.39
Durham 15.00 15.00 10.96 0.00 0.00
Dyfed Powys 18.58 3.70 5.61 4.48 8.23
Essex 12.10 2.00 1.26 4.60 2.65
Gloucestershire 8.00 4.00 5.97 1.00 2.28
Greater Manchester(2) n/k n/k n/k
Gwent 19.00 0.00 0.00 7.00 6.86
Hampshire 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Hertfordshire 21.32 10.10 10.58 7.22 8.04
Humberside 17.00 7.00 3.57 3.60 2.20
Kent 11.02 3.00 1.54 4.02 2.26
Lancashire 9.00 0.00 0.00 6.00 3.84
Leicestershire 16.50 5.00 2.94 5.50 2.68
Lincolnshire 5.00 4.00 4.70 0.00 0.00
London 486.50 64.50 5.70 224.00 18.88
Merseyside(3) n/k n/k n/k
Norfolk 2.00 0.00 0.00 2.00 1.51
North Wales 5.40 1.00 0.92 2.40 2.87
North Yorkshire 11.20 2.50 2.56 5.50 10.81
Northamptonshire 19.10 9.00 8.36 0.00 0.00
Northumbria 7.00 0.00 0.00 4.00 2.17
Nottinghamshire 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
South Wales 10.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
South Yorkshire 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Staffordshire 30.10 11.50 6.24 6.50 6.95
Suffolk 8.44 2.90 2.87 4.54 5.62
Surrey 19.10 3.60 4.11 3.80 3.54
Sussex 5.70 1.00 0.59 1.20 0.91
Teesside 45.31 26.00 16.62 0.00 0.00
Thames Valley 41.00 15.00 6.22 8.00 3.32
Warwickshire 7.18 0.00 0.00 2.44 4.92
West Mercia 15.00 0.90 0.53 5.10 4.14
West Midlands(2) n/k n/k
West Yorkshire 10.00 1.00 0.24 7.00 2.48
Wiltshire 29.70 14.00 16.43 4.90 9.25
NPS 977.32 227.70 2.68 347.30 5.04
(1) Total PO and PSO posts are 'staff in post' plus the number of active vacancies. (2) Greater Manchester and West Midlands probation areas are unable to provide data on active vacancies. (3) Merseyside probation area are not actively recruiting.

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