Probation: Greater London

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 28 September 2021.

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Photo of Feryal Clark Feryal Clark Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of recruitment and retention of probation officers in (a) Enfield and (b) Greater London.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

The Probation Service is committed to increasing recruitment to fill Probation Officer vacancies, particularly in areas with significant local employment market challenges. The Probation Service recruited a total of 1,007 trainee probation officers in 2020/2021 and are committed to recruiting 1,500 trainee probation officers in 2021/2022.

Following the transfer of over 7,000 staff from private sector Community Rehabilitation Companies into the Probation Service at the end of June 2021, there were 4,456 full time equivalent (FTE) Band 4 probation officers in post nationally as at 30 June 2021. This figure is an increase of 844 (23.4%) since 30 June 2020 and an increase of 919 FTE (26%) probation officers compared to 31 March 2021.

In June 2021, there were 637 probation officers and 225 trainee probation officers in post in the London Probation Service. One probation officer joined the Local Delivery Unit cluster Barnet, Brent and Enfield between June 2014 to June 2021. Overall, 50 probation officers joined the London Probation Service between 2014/2015 to June 2021/2022.

The leaving rate for probation officers at the London Probation Service was 7.5% for 12 months to 30 June 2021. Over the past seven years, the leaving rate has varied between 6.1% and 10.9%.

The leaving rate for probation officers at the LDU cluster Barnet, Brent and Enfield was 8.7% for 12 months to 30 June 2021. Over the past seven years the leaving rate has varied between 4.1% and 11.8%.

The first National Probation Service Recruitment & Retention Strategy was published internally to all Probation Service staff in April following extensive engagement with colleagues and stakeholders across Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service.  At the centre of this strategy is our commitment to make sure we have great people, in the right roles, with the resources they need to do their jobs in the probation service.

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