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Probation Service

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the National Probation Service will publish an annual report. [124963]

The National Probation Service for England and Wales (NPS) was established by the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and came into existence on 1 April 2001. The NPS consists of 42 Local Probation Boards and a central administrative function provided by the National Probation Directorate (NPD).Although the NPS does not produce a single service-wide annual report, each of the 42 probation boards is required under the Act to submit after the end of each financial year ending 31 March an annual report to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on the discharge of its functions, including how it has performed against its key targets, and its audited accounts.The NPS publishes consolidated accounts of the local probation boards annually.The NFS also regularly publishes results on key performance and National Standards information, showing local probation board comparisons. These performance reports along with information for practitioners, sentencers, offenders and the general public are posted on the NPS website at www.probation.homeoffice.gov.uk. The most recent performance report (Number 8) gives up to date performance figures for the conclusion of year 2002–03.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of offenders completed Probation Service accredited programmes in (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03. [124964]

In 2001–02 the percentage of offenders completing Probation Service accredited programmes, as a proportion of starts, was 37 per cent. This figure reached 48 per cent. in 2002–03. These are the national figures and are subject to variation from area to area.It should be noted that, due to the nature of accredited programmes, offenders who start a programme in a given year do not necessarily complete the programme in that year.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the number of staff employed by the National Probation Directorate. [124966]

The National Probation Service was started in 2001 and the National Probation Directorate is still developing as the Home Office Headquarters for the National Probation Service. There are plans to increase staffing levels by 70 by April 2005.