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National Directorate

National Probation Service

Performance Report 8
Year Ending 2002-03

JUNE 2003

EITHNE WALLIS
DIRECTOR GENERAL
1
Introduction

The National Probation Service (NPS) was formed on 1 April 2001 under the Criminal Justice and
Court Services Act. Here I present high level reports on the NPS 3-year change programme
entitled “A New Choreography”. This fundamental reconstruction of the previous 54 area services
and Home Office probation policy unit was intended to create a credible young adult and adult
community corrections organisation. There are now 43 component parts of the NPS – 42
operational delivery areas coterminous with police boundaries, and a central probation directorate
based in Horseferry House. The NPS 10 regions are mapped on those of the GORs and the
Welsh Assembly.

The aim is to design cutting edge risk assessment tools and offender programmes and
interventions based on the evidence of what is most likely to reduce predicted reconviction rates
and give better public protection. At the same time, our imperative is to build capacity to
operationalise and deliver these services.

A major collective achievement in Year 1 was the move from 54 different systems to a single,
national monitoring system, enabling these regular, high level reports on key delivery indicators
across all 42 operational areas. Validation arrangements around national standards are in place
with HMI of Probation and we know from these that there is still more to be done to ensure greater
accuracy and speed of reporting. But determination is high in an organisation that aspires to being
“excellent”, as is commitment to the expressed values of openness, transparency and
accountability as a public service.

A section on the timeliness of information returns has been included as this was an improvement
target for 2002/3. This has been largely accomplished with an outturn figure of 94%.

Performance summary 2002/3

Performance Report 8 marks the conclusion of 2002/3, the second full year of the National
Probation Service. Major achievements include:

• Exceeding the annual target for drug testing and treatment order commencements (102%)
• Meeting the target for basic skills commencements, and 85% of the awards target (new in
2002/3)
• A 125% increase in the number of accredited programme completions over the 2001/2 figure
• A 33% increase since 2001/2 in the proportion of victims of violent crime contacted within the
National Standard of 8 weeks of the offender being sentenced.
• A further in-year increase on the proportion of cases breached for non-compliance
(enforcement).

2
1. DTTO Commencement – April 1st 2002 to March 31st 2003

The DTTO is a recently established order now rolled-out to all courts in England and Wales. The
target number of orders to be commenced in 2002-03 was 6,000.

The graph below shows the national monthly actuals for the period April 2002 to March 2003
inclusive. The total of actual commencements was 6,140, which exceeds the target of 6,000. The
year-end figure was therefore102% of the annual target.

Cumulative DTTO Commencements, 2002/3


7000

6000
Actual
Profile
5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0
Apr-02 May-02 Jun-02 Jul-02 Aug-02 Sep-02 Oct-02 Nov-02 Dec-02 Jan-03 Feb-03 Mar-03

With the experience of a full year of operations in 2001-02 we were able to profile the national
target over the annual period 2002-03. The chart above shows this cumulative profile against
actual in-year performance.

The target figures do not include the additional 160 commencements expected by several areas
involved in the Street Crime Initiative.

Details of area and regional performance are shown on the next page. In the first quarter of 2002-
03 only 13 areas were in the "red"; in the second quarter this reduced to 9 and in the period up to
year-end this reduced to only 6. This demonstrates further significant improvements across
the national service.

3
DTTOs Commenced 1st April 2002 - 31st March 2003

Region Area name Annual Starts Target Performance


Target Achieved

West Midlands Staffordshire 110 101 92% Near miss


Warwickshire 50 53 106% Above
West Mercia 110 144 131% Above
West Midlands 380 391 103% Above
Regional Sub Total 650 689 106%
North East County Durham 80 92 115% Above
Northumbria 210 232 110% Above
Teesside 90 93 103% Above
Regional Sub Total 380 417 110%
East Bedfordshire 60 68 113% Above
Cambridgeshire 70 115 164% Above
Essex 140 127 91% Near miss
Hertfordshire 70 74 106% Above
Norfolk 80 84 105% Above
Suffolk 60 77 128% Above
Regional Sub Total 480 545 114%
North West Cheshire 110 92 84% Below
Cumbria 60 62 103% Above
Greater Manchester 380 401 106% Above
Lancashire 190 177 93% Near miss
Merseyside 230 175 76% Below
Regional Sub Total 970 907 94%
East Midlands Derbyshire 100 146 146% Above
Leicestershire & Rutland 100 119 119% Above
Lincolnshire 60 84 140% Above
Northamptonshire 60 79 132% Above
Nottinghamshire 130 188 145% Above
Regional Sub Total 450 616 137%
Yorkshire & Humberside 120 122 102% Above
Humberside North Yorkshire 70 77 110% Above
South Yorkshire 190 239 126% Above
West Yorkshire 310 292 94% Near miss
Regional Sub Total 690 730 106%
South East Hampshire 170 181 106% Above
Kent 160 146 91% Near miss
Surrey 60 68 113% Above
Sussex 120 141 118% Above
Thames Valley 160 165 103% Above
Regional Sub Total 670 701 105%
South West Avon & Somerset 140 122 87% Below
Devon/Cornwall 150 157 105% Above
Dorset 60 61 102% Above
Gloucestershire 50 49 98% Near miss
Wiltshire 50 40 80% Below
Regional Sub Total 450 429 95%
London London Sub Total 880 708 80% Below
Wales Dyfed/Powys 50 55 110% Above
Gwent 80 82 103% Above
North Wales 70 58 83% Below
South Wales 180 203 113% Above
Regional Sub Total 380 398 105%
ENGLAND & WALES 6000 6140 102%
4
2. Enforcement – April 1st 2002 to March 31st 2003

The HO Delivery plan target (and SDA target) is that the National Probation Service takes
enforcement action in accordance with the National Standard in 90% of cases where the offender
has breached his/her order. To fully meet the standard, three things must be achieved:

ƒ breach action taken after a second absence assessed as unacceptable


ƒ the court contacted for a hearing date
ƒ all of this achieved within 10 days.

Further investigation is needed into the levels of offender compliance which is estimated to
be in the region of 65-70%. Enforcement figures in some areas therefore often refer to very
small numbers where the offenders have been breached.

The performance for the period April 2002 to March 2003 has shown further incremental
improvement. 64% of breaches were enforced within 10 days and 77% within or without 10 days.
The breakdown by order type is shown below:

Enforcement by Order/Licence Enforcement by Order/Licence


April 2002 - March 2003 October 2001 - March 2002

Breached Breached
Order / Breached within Order / Breached within
Licence 10 days Licence 10 days
CPO 69% 84% CPO 59% 78%
CPRO 61% 75% CPRO 47% 65%
CRO 60% 73% CRO 50% 64%
Licence 63% 74% Licences 58% 66%
Total 64% 77% Total 53% 69%

Since 1 October 2001 this and other National Standards have been monitored on a monthly basis.

The introduction of the National Probation Service in April 2001 has put the emphasis firmly on
performance management. The cultural issues about enforcement have been addressed. It is
worth recording that the National Standards monitoring uses a sample of files and that the sample
includes cases which would have been terminated for over 6 months. Assessing this historical
data does mean that these results do not always reflect recent changes in practice. Our objective
in Year 2 has been to try to bridge the time gap between enforcement events and national
monitoring.

Details of area and regional performance follow. This shows that 24 areas are meeting the “all
breaches” target or are very close to it.

The next page shows a month-by-month breakdown of the enforcement figures for 2002/3
which are then projected to the end of 2003/4. This shows that we are on track to achieve
the target by the end of year 3 of the change programme.

(NB: the individual monthly figures have not previously been published as such data has
usually been presented cumulatively.)

5
Monthly Enforcement, 2002/3

Month Breached Breached


within 10 90
days
Apr-02 56 70 80

May-02 56 75 70

Jun-02 61 75
60
Jul-02 61 74
50
Aug-02 64 79
40
Sep-02 62 77 Breached within 10 days
Breached
30
Oct-02 65 78

Nov-02 66 78 20

Dec-02 67 77 10

Jan-03 69 79
0
Apr-02 May-02 Jun-02 Jul-02 Aug-02 Sep-02 Oct-02 Nov-02 Dec-02 Jan-03 Feb-03 Mar-03
Feb-03 71 81

Mar-03 71 82 Projected from April-03 based on previous 12 months data


100
Apr-03 73 82
90
May-03 74 83
80
Jun-03 76 84
70
Jul-03 77 85
60
Aug-03 79 85
50 Breached within 10 days
Sep-03 80 86 Breached

Oct-03 81 87 40

Nov-03 83 88 30

Dec-03 84 89 20

Jan-04 85 89 10

Feb-04 87 90 0
Apr- May- Jun- Jul- Aug- Sep- Oct- Nov- Dec- Jan- Feb- Mar- Apr- May- Jun- Jul- Aug- Sep- Oct- Nov- Dec- Jan- Feb- Mar-
02 02 02 02 02 02 02 02 02 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 03 04 04 04
Mar-04 88 91

6
Enforcement April 2002 - March 2003

Area name Proportion Proportion breached Performance against


breached within whether or not within 2nd column (90%
10 days 10 days target)

Staffordshire 69% 81% Near miss


Warwickshire 84% 92% Above
West Mercia 66% 77% Below
West Midlands 48% 63% Below
Regional Sub Total 60% 73%

County Durham 81% 89% Near miss


Northumbria 79% 86% Near miss
Teesside 73% 79% Below
Regional Sub Total 77% 85%

Bedfordshire 77% 85% Near miss


Cambridgeshire 83% 88% Near miss
Essex 59% 75% Below
Hertfordshire 41% 53% Below
Norfolk 79% 90% Above
Suffolk 79% 92% Above
Regional Sub Total 67% 79%

Cheshire 59% 69% Below


Cumbria 68% 75% Below
Greater Manchester 86% 90% Above
Lancashire 70% 84% Near miss
Merseyside 64% 83% Near miss
Regional Sub Total 74% 84%

Derbyshire 91% 95% Above


Leicestershire & Rutland 56% 77% Below
Lincolnshire 93% 94% Above
Northamptonshire 64% 77% Below
Nottinghamshire 78% 83% Near miss
Regional Sub Total 76% 86%

Humberside 80% 87% Near miss


North Yorkshire 70% 80% Near miss
South Yorkshire 72% 83% Near miss
West Yorkshire 73% 79% Below
Regional Sub Total 73% 81%

Hampshire 56% 79% Below


Kent 56% 65% Below
Surrey 75% 79% Below
Sussex 77% 84% Near miss
Thames Valley 45% 68% Below
Regional Sub Total 58% 74%

Avon & Somerset 69% 85% Near miss


Devon/Cornwall 68% 81% Near miss
Dorset 64% 80% Near miss
Gloucestershire 67% 75% Below
Wiltshire 57% 87% Near miss
Regional Sub Total 66% 82%

London Sub Total 29% 56% Below

Dyfed/Powys 69% 79% Below


Gwent 66% 80% Near miss
North Wales 78% 85% Near miss
South Wales 63% 72% Below
Regional Sub Total 67% 77%

ENGLAND & WALES 64% 77%


7
3. Accredited Programmes - April 2002 to March 2003

Information from areas on accredited programme completions was collected quarterly, although we
commenced collecting headline data monthly from July onwards.

Using experience from this process over the first year of implementation we are now able to profile
the completions over the year. The chart below shows the actual completions against those
predicted.

Accredited Programme Completions, Cumulative 2002/3


14000

12000
Actual
10000 Profile

8000

6000

4000

2000

0
Jun-02 Jul-02 Aug-02 Sep-02 Oct-02 Nov-02 Dec-02 Jan-03 Feb-03 Mar-03

The total completion target for 2002/03 was rescheduled to provide a more reasonable but still
challenging target of 12,000 completions. The figures contained in the tables reflect this change.
Area targets were also adjusted in-year so as to be more equitable; this did however, give some
areas an increase at a point in the year when they were unable to influence their outturn figures in
response (due to the lead time for completions).

Hence ten areas were on or near to target on completions. Most areas had referral levels likely to
achieve their targets; however, there was still a worrying number of areas with very low referral
figures, which could only achieve their target completions if all their referrals completed (i.e. zero
attrition). This was always highly unlikely and put the overall completion target at risk.

There is a big drop off between when orders are made and when they actually start and then again
between starting and completion. These are the points at which areas do have control of their
work, and attrition at these stages is likely to be due to poor business processes, e.g. supporting
offenders onto programmes, good case management, sufficient programmes scheduled to
commence to meet local need in a timely manner. It is also noted that recent quality ratings
correlate with high target achievement. Some of the larger areas which are under-performing need
to improve significantly or they will continue to pose a major risk to the achievement of our key
objectives.

A significant piece of research has just been completed on attrition. This highlighted a number of
reasons as to why offenders drop out, and recommended changes to reduce attrition. This has
been converted into actions for the NPD, for the regions and for local areas, and implemented from
April 2003.

Although the overall completions for 2002/3 were at 64% of the national target, this still
represented a 125% increase compared with the number of completions in 2001/2.

8
Accredited Programmes Completions 1st April 2002 - 31st March 2003

Completion Referrals Orders / Actual Percent of Performance


target Licences completions completion
Region Area name made achieved target
West Staffordshire 236 434 400 127 54% Below
Midlands Warwickshire 95 333 231 86 91% Near miss
West Mercia 184 524 530 92 50% Below
West Midlands 840 1570 613 522 62% Below
Regional Sub Total 1355 2861 1774 827 61%
North East County Durham 167 381 277 170 102% Above
Northumbria 432 1256 960 418 97% Near miss
Teesside 233 681 440 216 93% Near miss
Regional Sub Total 832 2318 1677 804 97%
East Bedfordshire 104 309 242 83 80% Below
Cambridgeshire 118 369 267 69 59% Below
Essex 272 929 565 210 77% Below
Hertfordshire 168 536 218 130 77% Below
Norfolk 122 437 322 92 75% Below
Suffolk 97 331 207 76 78% Below
Regional Sub Total 882 2911 1821 660 75%
North West Cheshire 174 849 544 174 100% Above
Cumbria 128 260 331 47 37% Below
Greater Manchester 878 3351 2161 722 82% Below
Lancashire 401 1271 1095 265 66% Below
Merseyside 451 1161 917 310 69% Below
Regional Sub Total 2033 6892 5048 1518 75%
East Derbyshire 232 994 610 208 90% Near miss
Midlands Leicestershire & Rutland 192 1011 576 207 108% Above
Lincolnshire 136 630 604 119 88% Below
Northamptonshire 122 673 502 136 111% Above
Nottinghamshire 326 600 599 69 21% Below
Regional Sub Total 1008 3908 2891 739 73%
Yorkshire & Humberside 227 1123 774 222 98% Near miss
Humberside North Yorkshire 128 379 301 94 73% Below
South Yorkshire 374 858 452 128 34% Below
West Yorkshire 658 2480 1794 436 66% Below
Regional Sub Total 1387 4840 3321 880 63%
South East Hampshire 350 913 633 168 48% Below
Kent 283 820 700 213 75% Below
Surrey 120 357 288 125 104% Above
Sussex 221 854 567 129 58% Below
Thames Valley 332 1127 603 159 48% Below
Regional Sub Total 1307 4071 2791 794 61%
South West Avon & Somerset 328 705 6 151 46% Below
Devon/Cornwall 260 519 535 143 55% Below
Dorset 132 400 295 115 87% Below
Gloucestershire 133 255 331 55 41% Below
Wiltshire 122 433 275 93 76% Below
Regional Sub Total 976 2312 1442 557 57%
London London Sub Total 1507 1755 2043 616 41% Below
Wales Dyfed/Powys 110 251 251 64 58% Below
Gwent 149 455 372 84 56% Below
North Wales 134 384 53 69 51% Below
South Wales 320 1352 859 104 32% Below
Regional Sub Total 714 2442 1535 321 45%
ENGLAND & WALES 12000 34310 24343 7716 64%

9
4. Home Secretary’s Race Equality Targets – Monitoring at December 2000 and
provisionally the period to December 2002.

At the end of December 2000, 9.8% of probation staff were from minority ethnic backgrounds (see
regional breakdown below) compared with a target of 8.4% set for 2009. Probation Statistics to be
published for the year ending December 2002 will show that overall the representation of minority
ethnic groups in NPS staff for England and Wales, was 10.5% against 9% in the Labour Force
Survey 2001 (LFS).

All regional targets have been met across the NPS. Some additional significant
achievements have been made:

• The first minority ethnic chief officer was appointed in 2001.

• There are 6 minority ethnic board chairs. (None of the previous 54 committee chairs were.)

• There are presently 84 minority ethnic board members (there were only a handful previously on
probation committees).

• There are particularly encouraging trends in specific probation areas. Bedfordshire, West
Midlands, West Yorkshire and London reflect a higher percentage of minority ethnic groups in
their workforce than in the areas’ LFS. As these are local areas with significant clusters of
people from minority ethnic communities, it reflects a Service that is increasingly representative
of the communities it seeks to serve.

• ACO/Area Manager grades have seen a rise from 4 at the end of 2000 to 13 at the end of
September 2001. A scheme to provide for development needs such as mentoring and
coaching is being implemented to identify and develop talented minority ethnic staff.

• 7.9% of senior probation officers (middle managers) are from ethnic minorities. The provisional
figures for September 2001 show that this has increased to 8.6%. This exceeds the March
2009 target of 6.5%.

• Overall the September 2001 figures show an increase in main grade probation officers
from 11% to 12.4%.

• A slightly smaller proportion of ethnic minority probation officers than white probation officers
left the service over the period 1 January to 30 September 2001. However, the numbers of
staff leaving are relatively small and it is difficult to draw any conclusions over this period.

• Each of the 42 probation boards published a Race Equality Scheme by 31st May 2002. The
Actions Plans within each of these Schemes will help to ensure that the NPS, as an
organisation, fulfils its duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and promotes
race equality and equality of opportunity for all staff.

• Implementation of race and ethnic monitoring according to the Census 2001 16+1
categorisation is on schedule for March 2003.

• More focussed approaches to work with racially motivated offenders are being developed.
Interventions are being tailored to minority ethnic offenders and community safety work with
minority ethnic groups is being reviewed.

The table below shows performance against regional targets (as at December 2000); these will be
updated once the latest figures have been formally published.

10
Region Target Achieved Above/Below
set Target
West Midlands 11.6 13.3 Above
North East 1.4 1.7 Above
East 4.9 4.9 Above
North West 5.4 6.1 Above
East Midlands 7.2 8.6 Above
Yorks & Humber 5.1 8.4 Above
South East 3.6 4 Above
South West 2.6 3.3 Above
London 26.5 30.2 Above
Wales 1.7 2.3 Above

England & Wales 8.4 9.8

11
5. Sickness Absence April 2002 – March 2003

Since 1st July 2001, local areas have been required to monitor sickness absence using a standard
format and provide quarterly monitoring returns to the NPD. Reporting was increased to monthly
in July 2002. The target for 2002-03 is 10 days or fewer sickness absence per employee.

The national average for the year was 11.9 days as opposed to the 2001/2 year-end figure of 12.6
days. It also compares favourably with the prison service (14.7 days), and the police (12.4 days for
2001/2). The survey ‘Sickness Absence in Local Government 2001’ showed Social Services'
sickness rates at an average of 15 days per employee.

Some areas already have good systems for monitoring and managing absence and such good
practice is being shared across the national HR network.

This includes:

• A ‘Case Management’ approach to tackling long term absence.


• Monthly statistical feedback to line managers.
• Return to work interviews.
• Probation Board reports.
• Automatic referral to occupational health.
• Healthy Roadshows.
• Stress counselling/health care services.
• Constant chasing.

The Home Office internal audit of these arrangements across England & Wales has been
completed. Further guidance on monitoring sickness absence has been issued. This will
encourage greater consistency in counting and reporting back separately on short term and long
term sickness.

Details of area and regional performance are shown on the next page.

12
Sickness Absence, April 2002 - March 2003

Region Area Short Long DDA - Total Total Average Performance


term term related days staff days (target = 10
sickness sickness sickness lost years absence days)
West Staffordshire 1705 1455 304 3464 384 9.0 Below
Midlands Warwickshire 523 670 54 1247 147 8.5 Below
West Mercia 1675 1733 120 3528 317 11.1 Above
West Midlands 6945 8261 0 15207 1075 14.1 Above
Regional Sub Total 10849 12119 478 23445 1923 12.2
North East County Durham 1150 886 0 2036 255 8.0 Below
Northumbria 2434 2742 515 5691 524 10.9 Near miss
Teesside 1881 2052 506 4439 289 15.4 Above
Regional Sub Total 5465 5680 1021 12165 1068 11.4
East Bedfordshire 626 1042 29 1697 175 9.7 Below
Cambridgeshire 1073 590 28 1691 183 9.2 Below
Essex 2294 1604 101 3998 366 10.9 Near miss
Hertfordshire 1026 886 67 1979 207 9.5 Below
Norfolk 1508 736 194 2438 220 11.1 Above
Suffolk 1517 765 351 2632 195 13.5 Above
Regional Sub Total 8043 5622 769 14434 1348 10.7
North West Cheshire 2110 1987 226 4323 315 13.7 Above
Cumbria 823 1425 83 2332 144 16.2 Above
Greater Manchester 6115 8539 0 14654 1083 13.5 Above
Lancashire 2951 3182 0 6134 540 11.4 Above
Merseyside 4217 5259 53 9528 686 13.9 Above
Regional Sub Total 16216 20393 363 36971 2767 13.4
East Derbyshire 1717 1228 56 3001 329 9.1 Below
Midlands Leicestershire & Rutland 2548 1206 740 4494 380 11.8 Above
Lincolnshire 1158 940 0 2097 182 11.5 Above
Northamptonshire 1262 1198 18 2478 210 11.8 Above
Nottinghamshire 2587 2739 60 5386 460 11.7 Above
Regional Sub Total 9272 7310 874 17455 1560 11.2
Yorkshire & Humberside 2905 1452 341 4698 381 12.3 Above
Humberside North Yorkshire 1068 1099 0 2166 208 10.4 Near miss
South Yorkshire 3537 1864 1721 7122 593 12.0 Above
West Yorkshire 5793 6950 0 12743 1077 11.8 Above
Regional Sub Total 13302 11365 2062 26729 2258 11.8
South East Hampshire 2425 2165 814 5404 513 10.5 Near miss
Kent 2328 4004 0 6332 449 14.1 Above
Surrey 1051 730 3 1783 213 8.4 Below
Sussex 1714 1922 258 3893 292 13.3 Above
Thames Valley 3585 2308 108 6001 504 11.9 Above
Regional Sub Total 11102 11128 1183 23413 1971 11.9
South West Avon & Somerset 3129 2852 93 6073 487 12.5 Above
Devon & Cornwall 2027 1995 13 4035 433 9.3 Below
Dorset 1743 750 113 2606 179 14.5 Above
Gloucestershire 523 1169 24 1716 137 12.5 Above
Wiltshire 752 998 132 1881 128 14.6 Above
Regional Sub Total 8173 7764 375 16311 1364 12.0
London London Sub Total 14849 8063 479 23391 2287 10.2 Near miss
Wales Dyfed-Powys 628 786 0 1414 132 10.7 Near miss
Gwent 1700 1482 0 3182 203 15.7 Above
North Wales 1291 1428 4 2722 212 12.9 Above
South Wales 2983 3301 743 7027 465 15.1 Above
Regional Sub Total 6601 6997 747 14345 1011 14.2
ENGLAND & WALES 103870 96439 8350 208660 17558 11.9

13
6. Victim Contact – April to December 2002

The New Choreography makes it clear that the National Probation Service delivers services to
victims as well as offenders. The development of this area of practice is included under Stretch
Objective II, namely “more contact and involvement with the victims of serious sexual and other
violent crime”.

The performance figures for the half-year (April – September 2002) show further significant
improvements in performance against the National Standard target as compared with
performance during previous monitoring periods.

In comparison to the same period in 2001, the monitoring figures for April to September 2002 show
substantial increases in the numbers of named victims and in the proportion of them who were
contacted within 8 weeks of sentence, as indicated below:

Period Number of Number of Percentage of


covered named victims victims victims
contacted contacted
April – Dec 11,269 6,795 60%
2001
April – Dec 11,936 9,498 80%
2002

The recognition that victims often felt ill-informed about criminal justice processes led to the
creation of a new statutory duty to offer contact to a specific group of victims in Section 69 of the
Criminal and Court Services Act 2000. Under the Act, local probation boards have a statutory duty
to offer contact, consult and notify victims, if they so wish, about important aspects of the release
arrangements of offenders convicted of a sexual or violent offence leading to a sentence of
imprisonment of 12 months or more. This statutory duty reflects a significant improvement on the
previous non-statutory arrangements. It was the first legislative framework for victim work, and
therefore an important step towards ensuring that the interests of victims are respected within the
criminal justice process.

The National Standard for victim contact work is that probation areas should offer face-to-face
contact between the victim (or family) and a member of the probation service (or agent) within 8
weeks of the offender being sentenced. The NPS target is to make initial contact within that
timescale in 85% of all eligible cases.

Further analysis of the figures shows that:

For all cases:

• 23 areas met or exceeded the 85% target and are classed as green (compared with
13 areas over the same period last year)
• 6 areas made contact within 5% of the target and are amber (4 last year)
• 13 areas fell more than 5% short of the target (25 last year)
• Only 1 area made contact in less than 50% of cases.

The detailed breakdown of figures on an area by area basis combines those over 4 year figures
and those sentenced between 1-4 years into a single table that compares overall performance for
victims. A near miss is an area that achieved at least 80% but fell short of the 85%.

14
Victim Contact
All Cases, April - December 2002

Area Number of No. contacted Target Performance


named within 8 achieved
victims weeks
Staffordshire 333 303 91% On or Above
Warwickshire 144 140 97% On or Above
West Mercia 194 158 81% Near miss
West Midlands 995 682 69% Below
West Midlands Total 1666 1283 77%
Northumbria 405 397 98% On or Above
Teesside 203 203 100% On or Above
County Durham 70 70 100% On or Above
North East Total 678 670 99%
Bedfordshire 237 152 64% Below
Cambridgeshire 154 136 88% On or Above
Essex 171 133 78% Below
Hertfordshire 98 79 81% Near miss
Norfolk 170 147 86% On or Above
Suffolk 87 59 68% Below
East Total 917 706 77%
Cheshire 255 251 98% On or Above
Cumbria 115 87 76% Below
Lancashire 445 375 84% Near miss
Merseyside 404 338 84% Near miss
Greater Manchester 920 801 87% On or Above
North West Total 2139 1852 87%
Derbyshire 264 237 90% On or Above
Leicestershire & Rutland 279 279 100% On or Above
Lincolnshire 113 99 88% On or Above
Northamptonshire 153 121 79% Below
Nottinghamshire 403 390 97% On or Above
East Midlands Total 1212 1126 93%
Humberside 202 162 80% Near miss
North Yorkshire 125 122 98% On or Above
South Yorkshire 366 274 75% Below
West Yorkshire 689 643 93% On or Above
Yorkshire & Humberside Total 1382 1201 87%
Hampshire 273 167 61% Below
Kent 231 154 67% Below
Surrey 95 90 95% On or Above
Sussex 333 308 92% On or Above
Thames Valley 398 350 88% On or Above
South East Total 1330 1069 80%
Avon & Somerset 348 295 85% On or Above
Dorset 102 97 95% On or Above
Gloucestershire 55 39 71% Below
Wiltshire 63 44 70% Below
Devon/Cornwall 259 245 95% On or Above
South West Total 827 720 87%
London Total 1234 455 37% Below
Gwent 153 138 90% On or Above
North Wales 78 65 83% Near miss
South Wales 308 201 65% Below
Dyfed/Powys 12 12 100% On or Above
Wales Total 551 416 75%
les Total 11936 9498 80%
15
7. Pre-Sentence Reports (PSRs) – Timeliness in Magistrates Courts April 2002 - March 2003

This national standard is monitored as part of Home Office Aim 3. It is to improve the timeliness of
the NPS reports (PSRs) to the magistrates' courts. The standard is within 15 working days.

The table indicates that performance has slipped back by 1%. This, however, has been a year in
which OASys has been rolled out to areas, increasing substantially the time spent on a PSR until
staff became familiar with their new assessment system. The figures also do not reflect those
occasions on which courts adjourn for longer than 15 days i.e., where the court's timetable is
satisfied but the National Standard isn't.

In some local areas, discussions with sentencers continue to try to ensure that PSRs are only
sought on cases where a community penalty or imprisonment is the likely outcome. Capacity
issues are increasingly important in the light of OASys and local workload agreements.

1996-97 55%
1997-98 58%
1998-99 63%
1999-00 68%
2000-01 75%
2001-02 79%
2002-03 78%

Details of area and regional performance are shown on the next page.

16
PSR Timeliness, April 2002 - March 2003

Region Area No. provided No. provided % meeting Performance


in response within 15 standard (90% target)
to request working days of
request
West Midlands Staffordshire 2560 2123 83% Near miss
Warwickshire 914 619 68% Below
West Mercia 2118 1592 75% Below
West Midlands 3766 2884 77% Below
West Midlands Total 9358 7218 77%
North East Northumbria 4878 3902 80% Near miss
Teesside 2373 1741 73% Below
County Durham 1790 1319 74% Below
North East Total 9041 6962 77%
East Bedfordshire 1688 1208 72% Below
Cambridgeshire 1383 1133 82% Near miss
Essex 2547 1726 68% Below
Hertfordshire 1601 1271 79% Below
Norfolk 2183 1159 53% Below
Suffolk 1231 941 76% Below
East Total 10633 7438 70%
North West Cheshire 1615 1356 84% Near miss
Cumbria 1412 1171 83% Near miss
Lancashire 3562 2634 74% Below
Merseyside 3469 3143 91% Above
Greater Manchester 6269 5460 87% Near miss
North West Total 16327 13764 84%
East Midlands Derbyshire 2376 2060 87% Near miss
Leicestershire & Rutland 2384 1976 83% Near miss
Lincolnshire 1528 1316 86% Near miss
Northamptonshire 1690 1293 77% Below
Nottinghamshire 2922 2184 75% Below
East Midlands Total 10900 8829 81%
Yorkshire & Humberside 2313 2054 89% Near miss
Humberside North Yorkshire 1474 1268 86% Near miss
South Yorkshire 4259 3103 73% Below
West Yorkshire 4901 3774 77% Below
Yorkshire & Humberside Total 12947 10199 79%
South East Hampshire 3531 2419 69% Below
Kent 3068 2783 91% Above
Surrey 1468 1183 81% Near miss
Sussex 2776 2011 72% Below
Thames Valley 4371 3402 78% Below
South East Total 15214 11798 78%
South West Avon & Somerset 2281 1883 83% Near miss
Dorset 1440 1082 75% Below
Gloucestershire 1053 717 68% Below
Wiltshire 1303 1153 88% Near miss
Devon/Cornwall 2821 2240 79% Below
South West Total 8898 7075 80%
London London Total 18272 13490 74% Below
Wales Gwent 1813 1534 85% Near miss
North Wales 1184 640 54% Below
South Wales 3916 3114 80% Near miss
Dyfed/Powys 1372 1261 92% Above
Wales Total 8285 6549 79%
England & Wales Total 119875 93322 78%

17
8. Timeliness of Information Returns

The target, which was announced in the area business plan guidance for 2002-03, is for areas to
ensure complete and timely information in at least 95% of returns.

It was initially thought that this would be a straightforward count of the number of times a deadline
was missed, as a proportion of the number of returns due. However, it became apparent that
some areas, having missed a deadline, had no incentive to return the required information as early
as possible after that deadline. This led to situations where we had to delay reports or publish
them with incomplete information because deadlines were being missed by weeks and, in some
cases, months.

The following methodology resolved this. It only applied to returns from October 2002 to March
2003 and was not applied retrospectively.

Methodology

Each data return had a deadline. For data that arrived on or before the deadline, we awarded
100%. For every working day after the deadline, i.e. every day late, we subtracted 5%. We then
averaged the percentage timeliness for each of the 27 data returns that relate to the six-month
period, October 2002 to March 2003, to give the year-end timeliness score.

Performance

Overall the figure of 94% is close to the target of 95%. Three areas were rated red, two of which
had nevertheless improved during the year. Three more areas were within 4% of the target. 36
areas therefore met the target, 12 achieving 100%.

18
Timeliness of Information Returns, October 2002 - March 2003

Region Area Overall Performance


timeliness (95% target)
West Midlands Staffordshire 98% Above
Warwickshire 93% Near miss
West Mercia 100% Above
West Midlands 97% Above
West Midlands Total 97%
North East Northumbria 84% Below
Teesside 94% Near miss
County Durham 97% Above
North East Total 92%
East Bedfordshire 97% Above
Cambridgeshire 99% Above
Essex 100% Above
Hertfordshire 100% Above
Norfolk 98% Above
Suffolk 98% Above
East Total 99%
North West Cheshire 99% Above
Cumbria 99% Above
Lancashire 95% Above
Merseyside 81% Below
Greater Manchester 100% Above
North West Total 95%
East Midlands Derbyshire 100% Above
Leicestershire & Rutland 100% Above
Lincolnshire 96% Above
Northamptonshire 98% Above
Nottinghamshire 97% Above
East Midlands Total 98%
Yorkshire & Humberside 99% Above
Humberside North Yorkshire 100% Above
South Yorkshire 100% Above
West Yorkshire 100% Above
Yorkshire & Humberside Total 100%
South East Hampshire 99% Above
Kent 99% Above
Surrey 100% Above
Sussex 100% Above
Thames Valley 99% Above
South East Total 100%
South West Avon & Somerset 91% Near miss
Dorset 100% Above
Gloucestershire 99% Above
Wiltshire 99% Above
Devon/Cornwall 95% Above
South West Total 97%
London London Total 64% Below
Wales Gwent 99% Above
North Wales 97% Above
South Wales 99% Above
Dyfed/Powys 98% Above
Wales Total 99%
England & Wales Total 94%
19
9. Basic Skills

What is happening?

The NPS had an SDA target of 6,000 basic skills programmes starts and 1,000 awards for 2002-
03, the first year that such targets had been set.

Basic Skills commencements were marginally short of 100%. Since September a number of basic
skills screening training events had been organised and held nationally. NPD developed and
delivered a basic skills screening training pack to all probation areas for cascade training to pre-
sentence report writers and other relevant staff. The majority of probation areas had facilities in
place for basic skills screening at the pre-sentence report writing stage. Access to both short and
long term funding for basic skills provision for offenders in the community remains an issue for
many probation areas. Progress towards the achievement of basic skills awards is slow in the light
of the difficulties probation areas face in securing appropriate provision and funding; nevertheless
85% of the award target was achieved.

To date the majority of basic skills awards are being achieved at entry and level one. This low level
skills base characterises the effects of deprivation and social exclusion that the offender population
occupies within the community. It was anticipated that greater progress on the achievement of
awards would be made following a longer period of offender participation with basic skills provision
and this proved to be the case. The final reporting quarter has begun to show the achievement of
awards for those offenders who commenced basic skills in the earlier part of the year. Major
increases in the 2003/4 targets will demand continuing attention to this new area of work.

Why is it happening?

Basic skills activity is a new area of business for probation areas, requiring new business
processes and procedures. The national budget allocation to probation areas was predicated on
the ability of areas, in England and Wales, to access and utilise local Learning & Skills Council
(LSC) funding streams. In Wales, the basic skills funding infrastructure is different and there are
issues on capacity building, accessibility for offenders, and the quality of available provision.

What is being done?

In England, NPD and the national office of the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) have jointly
developed a working together protocol. This joint protocol was launched to probation areas and
Local LSCs. The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) facilitated a scoping study of basic skills
provision for offenders within Wales. The WAG has a basic skills strategy which differs greatly
from the English strategy in that there is no specific focus on priority groups such as offenders
within the community. Unfortunately the meeting scheduled for May to take forward the
recommendation of the scoping report was cancelled by WAG. We anticipate that this meeting will
be re-scheduled for July. NPD has now received the first draft of a report commissioned on the
issues facing the Welsh probation areas with regards to the basic skills. One recommendation
from that report will be to underwrite the allocation of 2003/4 basic skills targets for the Welsh
areas given the differences in the basic skills infrastructure that exist.

NPD has organised visits to all poor performers on the basic skills qualifications target. Meetings
are held on a regional basis and have included representations from local LSCs and regional DfES
Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit co-ordinators. Areas are asked to demonstrate that they have
made sufficient plans to meeting the basic skills targets for 2003/4 and that they have made the
necessary links with their local LSCs and other providers. A national performance improvement
plan for basic skills will be prepared by NPD by the end of June. All probation areas will be
required to submit a basic skills performance action plan during July. The milestones contained
within area action plans will be used to populate a national basic skills milestone register. This
milestone register will be reviewed on a quarterly basis by Regional What Works Mangers and
NPD for exceptions.
20
Basic Skills, April 2002 - March 2003

Region Area Starts Annual % Profiled Performance Awards Annual % Profiled Performance
Starts Target against Awards Target against
Target Achieved starts Target Achieved awards

West Staffordshire 102 118 86% Below 13 20 65% Below


Midlands Warwickshire 32 47 68% Below 4 8 50% Below
West Mercia 52 92 57% Below 0 15 0% Below
West Midlands 230 420 55% Below 53 70 76% Below
Regional Sub Total 416 677 61% 70 113 62%
North East County Durham 34 83 41% Below 0 14 0% Below
Northumbria 158 216 73% Below 22 36 61% Below
Teesside 66 116 57% Below 27 19 142% Above
Regional Sub Total 258 415 62% 49 69 71%
East Bedfordshire 42 52 81% Below 3 9 33% Below
Cambridgeshire 55 59 93% Near miss 0 10 0% Below
Essex 124 136 91% Near miss 21 23 91% Near miss
Hertfordshire 38 84 45% Below 0 14 0% Below
Norfolk 80 61 131% Above 4 10 40% Below
Suffolk 22 49 45% Below 0 8 0% Below
Regional Sub Total 361 441 82% 28 74 38%
North West Cheshire 57 87 66% Below 23 15 153% Above
Cumbria 131 64 205% Above 29 11 264% Above
Greater Manchester 432 439 98% Near miss 116 73 159% Above
Lancashire 864 201 430% Above 6 34 18% Below
Merseyside 261 226 115% Above 95 38 250% Above
Regional Sub Total 1745 1017 172% 269 171 157%
East Derbyshire 123 116 106% Above 4 19 21% Below
Midlands Leicestershire & Rutland 136 96 142% Above 21 16 131% Above
Lincolnshire 141 68 207% Above 11 11 100% Above
Northamptonshire 109 61 179% Above 0 10 0% Below
Nottinghamshire 162 163 99% Near miss 6 27 22% Below
Regional Sub Total 671 504 133% 42 83 51%
Yorkshire & Humberside 194 113 172% Above 2 19 11% Below
Humberside North Yorkshire 71 64 111% Above 0 11 0% Below
South Yorkshire 297 187 159% Above 36 31 116% Above
West Yorkshire 234 329 71% Below 56 55 102% Above
Regional Sub Total 796 693 115% 94 116 81%
South East Hampshire 192 175 110% Above 4 29 14% Below
Kent 163 141 116% Above 31 24 129% Above
Surrey 38 60 63% Below 0 10 0% Below
Sussex 133 110 121% Above 19 18 106% Above
Thames Valley 168 166 101% Above 2 28 7% Below
Regional Sub Total 694 652 106% 56 109 51%
South West Avon & Somerset 32 164 20% Below 0 27 0% Below
Devon & Cornwall 48 130 37% Below 0 22 0% Below
Dorset 103 66 156% Above 12 11 109% Above
Gloucestershire 81 66 123% Above 11 11 100% Above
Wiltshire 22 61 36% Below 0 10 0% Below
Regional Sub Total 286 487 59% 23 81 28%
London London Sub Total 530 754 70% Below 170 126 135% Above
Wales Dyfed-Powys 26 55 47% Below 2 9 22% Below
Gwent 45 75 60% Below 21 13 162% Above
North Wales 67 67 100% Above 16 11 145% Above
South Wales 88 160 55% Below 8 27 30% Below
Regional Sub Total 226 357 63% 47 60 78%
ENGLAND & WALES 5983 6000 100% 848 1000 85%

21