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Criminal Justice Act

Volume 447: debated on Friday 16 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many additional probation officers will be recruited in the London area to provide increased supervision of defendants following the implementation of the custody plus provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. (76867)

[holding answer 12 June 2006]: In September 2004, prior to the start of the Act’s implementation, staffing in the London probation area stood at 2,459. By April 2006 it had risen to 2,759. The area is looking at further increases to take account of work arising from the Act and its other responsibilities.

Most of the sentencing provisions in the Criminal Justice Act were implemented in April 2005. We are working towards an implementation date of autumn 2006 for custody plus but we shall not go ahead unless we are satisfied that the national probation service can cope with the additional work.