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Probation Officers: Manpower

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the ratio of offenders to probation officers has been in each of the last five years, broken down by probation service area. (280839)

The information requested is shown in the following table for the years 2004 to 2007 inclusive. A data validation exercise is currently taking place on the probation officer information for 2008 to be completed during the summer of 2009.

There are a number of factors which could affect average caseloads over time, resulting in regional variations shown in the table. These include:

Fluctuations in caseload according to changing sentencing patterns

Improving accurate workforce planning

Variations in the nature of cases will call for a different workforce. High risk cases will call for resource intensive supervision by more senior practitioners. For lower risk cases (e.g. unpaid work supervision), a high caseload can be managed safely by a small number of practitioners. Comparing these cases under a single “average caseload” calculation is therefore misleading.

The ratio of offenders supervised by offender managers, by each probation service area in England and Wales at 31 December in each year from 2004-07

Area

2004

2005

2006

2007

Avon and Somerset

26.0

24.8

23.0

25.7

Bedfordshire

41.1

35.3

32.7

32.1

Cambridgeshire

29.0

33.2

32.5

35.3

Cheshire

24.3

26.2

29.2

32.5

Cumbria

33.5

29.7

26.3

29.5

Derbyshire

34.0

32.3

30.9

32.1

Devon and Cornwall

25.3

23.6

23.9

22.7

Dorset

24.7

23.6

27.1

29.9

Durham

23.3

23.8

24.7

27.3

Dyfed Powys

26.3

24.1

26.7

29.5

Essex

39.1

42.2

48.8

54.9

Gloucestershire

26.9

28.8

32.9

37.6

Gwent

36.9

37.4

29.2

27.5

Hampshire

28.7

29.9

32.0

33.6

Hertfordshire

39.6

40.8

47.6

40.2

Humberside

25.6

24.6

24.0

27.0

Kent

31.6

30.4

34.2

35.5

Lancashire

24.0

25.3

27.9

31.1

Leicestershire

25.1

24.2

25.6

26.4

Lincolnshire

31.9

28.0

27.1

26.8

London

40.7

50.7

47.6

48.2

Greater Manchester

35.6

38.8

33.8

37.0

Merseyside

34.5

36.6

38.3

33.7

Norfolk

28.7

28.1

31.3

30.3

North Wales

26.6

27.5

31.4

34.7

North Yorkshire

22.4

25.0

26.3

28.2

Northamptonshire

33.1

33.7

26.3

29.5

Northumbria

21.4

21.0

23.1

26.1

Nottinghamshire

33.4

33.2

30.1

33.3

South Wales

31.6

29.7

30.1

30.5

South Yorkshire

29.6

28.2

29.3

29.6

Staffordshire

24.6

24.1

24.9

26.2

Suffolk

20.3

21.8

23.7

23.3

Surrey

25.3

25.7

28.2

24.7

Sussex

37.3

30.7

33.2

40.5

Teesside

39.8

32.7

33.9

32.5

Thames Valley

30.6

32.6

35.3

35.1

Warwickshire

27.8

23.8

29.2

33.1

West Mercia

23.8

25.9

25.2

27.3

West Midlands

41.0

36.7

37.0

40.4

West Yorkshire

31.4

30.6

29.4

30.1

Wiltshire

34.1

27.7

28.3

33.2

National Average

31.8

32.5

32.6

34.1

Note:

Figures provided are Full Time Equivalent and include Senior Probation Officers, Probation Officers, Senior Practitioners and Practice Development Assessors