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Give PCCs joint probation responsibilty with MoJ says APCC lead


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The current criminal justice system 'isn't working', according to the APCC chairman.


Police and crime commissioners should be given joint oversight of probation and offender rehabilitation services with the Ministry of Justice, the head of the commissioners' association has said.

David Lloyd, chairman and criminal justice lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), said on Tuesday the current system “stifles innovation” and does not work in its current form.

“Although we call the criminal justice system a system - it isn’t. It’s made up of a series of often competing organisations that together manage to forget the needs of the victim and the offender," he said at a Justice Committee meeting. 

“I really believe this is a moment when we can make a step change in reducing reoffending if we all work together.

“The biggest culture change is the lessons that fire can bring to police and that is rather than investing in more fire trucks look at how you reduce fire in the first place. I think it’s exactly the same in criminal justice.”

He added: “Frankly there is no one who holds the ring around criminal justice.

“What works poorly is for the democratic accountability is to be held centrally at the MoJ.

“The positive thing is if you bring PCCs to have responsibly for it there is a very direct democratic oversight.”

Mr Lloyd said he would be in favour of adopting the “Manchester model” (a combined local authority in which the mayor has taken on PCC responsibilities).

“There isn’t a great amount of parliament time. By allowing the local leaders to get on and do it we can move on and that is the solution for you.

“What we need is some leeway -to take on the Manchester model for example.

“I think the role of PCC broadly a local leadership," he told the committee.

He also claimed UNISON, one of the largest unions in the police and justice system, are in favour of probation and prisons coming under the jurisdiction of PCCs- much to his own surprise.

When asked whether he thought disengaged PCCs would pose a risk to such a system he responded: “I believe in the wisdom of the electorate at the end of the day. The electorate shows great wisdom.”  

In a separate statement on the APCC’s website, Mr Lloyd said: “It is my view that PCCs have a key role in working with partners to ensure an efficient and effective criminal justice system.

“That means real oversight and accountability of local criminal justice services, including offender management services, in the first instance, this should include joint oversight of Community Rehabilitation Companies and the National Probation Service with the Ministry of Justice."

The APCC also wantS to see funding handed over to PCCs without a ring fence. 

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Sorry but the Manchester model is an utter abortion. An erring PCC can be replaced, and erring elected Mayor stays in office until the next election

The one constant is that they both cost a small fortune.

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If you give elected, local politicians control over probation then you will end up with a US-style Sheriff system where they make manifesto pledges that are punishment driven, as opposed to rehabilitative.

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