The implementation of the national Prolific and other Priority Offenders CJS Premium Service specification

Laura Blakeborough RDS in OCJR December 2006 For further information please email OBTJ-Team@cjs.gsi.gov.uk

Contents
Page Executive summary Introduction Implementation Governance Performance monitoring and management General comments on the Premium Service specification Conclusions and recommendations Appendices ii 1 1 4 6 7 10 12

i

Executive Summary
This report presents the results of a survey, sent to all Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJBs), exploring their progress on implementing and delivering the Premium Service specification designed to tackle Prolific and other Priority Offenders (PPOs). The findings are based on self-reported progress by LCJBs and thus provide a description of what is perceived as progress as opposed to an objective assessment of performance. Findings are based on responses from all 42 LCJBs unless otherwise stated.

Key findings
Implementation The majority of LCJBs (38) had agreed a Premium Service and had at least partially implemented all four strands of the specification. No LCJBs reported a Red/Amber/Green (RAG) status of red, 27 rated themselves as amber/green (a Premium Service had been developed and implemented and was proceeding within timescales); and 12 green (meaning they had implemented, reviewed and regularly updated their service). All four strands of the Premium Service: 1) faster processing, 2) prioritisation of resources, 3) enhanced quality standards, and 4) increased multi-agency collaboration had at least been partially implemented across LCJBs. Increased multi-agency collaboration was the strand that most of the LCJBs had fully implemented (38), and was partially introduced in the remaining four LCJBs. PPOs were being prioritised throughout the criminal justice system by core agencies through the identification of processes and protocols and the setting of standards for delivery. When the need for improvement was recognised it was felt to be because processes needed more time to be embedded into everyday practices. The perceived impact of the prioritisation of resources differed across LCJBs, however at least seven LCJBs reported having provisions in place prior to the introduction of the specification and so thought little had to be done to bring them into line with the specification. Governance Governance arrangements were in place across all LCJBs. The majority of LCJBs frequently received information about the performance of local PPO schemes. All Police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS) agency representatives across LCJBs had seen and agreed to implement a Premium Service, as well as Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in 41 LCJBs and National Offender Management Service (NOMS) in 40 LCJBs. A number of LCJBs also reported having links, both formal and informal, with other agencies including drug/alcohol services, victim and witness services and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs). Performance management Lists of PPOs were generally shared amongst representatives of all the core agencies but HMCS received this information much less frequently than the police, NOMS, CPS and YOTs. The most common monitoring tool for tracking PPO cases was J-track which was used in 21 LCJBs. Not all of the core agencies could access this system and LCJBs felt that improving access would be beneficial for all agencies to help improve data sharing and exchange. Other LCJBs used joint agency groups to monitor cases (13) or utilised a combination of case reviews and other databases. Information from these various systems was frequently fed into LCJB strategic or working groups. Performance management of the Premium Service was embedded in individual performance monitoring arrangements of each agency [in 33 police and NOMS agencies out of 42; 27 YOTs; 25 CPS and 17 HMCS]. General comments and good practice LCJBs reported a number of examples of good practice in the areas of: i) multi-agency working – through joint agency groups and establishing workshops to launch the Premium Service specification; ii) prioritisation – establishing fast track proceedings for breaches and priority listings in court; iii) guidance – development of flow charts of processes, or warrant protocols; and vi) funding – for PPO co-ordinators or research projects. However, it is not clear how representative these are of general working practices across LCJBs. Improved multi-agency working has not only led to benefits in terms of changing practice on the ground i.e. through the prioritisation of PPO cases, or through setting service level agreements, but it has also had additional benefits in terms of understanding agencies roles and responsibilities and in

ii

the clarification of processes relating to PPOs which has helped to improve services for PPOs more generally. A number of gaps or wider issues around the national Premium Service specification were highlighted by LCJBs. The most common themes were the need: o to incorporate non-criminal justice agencies in the specification to truly provide a holistic approach to dealing with PPOs, for example Job Centre plus, Primary Care Trusts and voluntary sector agencies; o to clarify the roles and responsibilities of agencies outside of the five core agencies for delivering support; o to clarify the role of CDRPs and how they relate to LCJBs; o to provide greater clarity about how the two remaining strands of the PPO Strategy – Prevent & Deter and Rehabilitate & Resettle - fit into the overall national PPO premium service; o to provide all key agencies with access to a monitoring system, such as J-track, to allow data sharing and to provide more guidance around performance monitoring of PPOs.

Conclusion and recommendations
The Premium service specification appears to have facilitated improvements in the working practices of those responsible for providing a service to PPOs. Despite little reference to the specific strands outlined in the specification 1) faster processing, 2) prioritisation of resources, 3) enhanced quality standards, and 4) increased multi-agency collaboration, areas of good practice have been highlighted, particularly in relation to improved multi-agency working. It would be beneficial to explore examples of good practice in greater depth and to disseminate the information to LCJBs in order to enhance knowledge about delivering a better service for PPOs. Increased multi-agency working appears to have been one of the more widely implemented strands of the specification. It also seems to have led to additional benefits, not only in changing practice on the ground, but in terms of a greater understanding of agencies roles and responsibilities, and thus has helped to improve services for PPOs. However, LCJBs sometimes reported that changes were not consistent across LCJBs and that more time was needed to ensure that new practices and procedures could be embedded into everyday practice. Once more time has been given to embed practices it would be useful to review whether services were being delivered consistently across LCJBs. Although there were calls to extend the Premium Service specification to other non-criminal justice agencies, responses to the survey suggest that there is room to improve the existing specification first. Fewer examples of improvements to practices were cited by NOMS, HMCS and to some extent YOTs, and there was some confusion about the use and access of J-Track by some agencies. There does appear to be a need to improve the linkages between existing agencies, and consider how the premium service could be reviewed to help secure more involvement and commitment from these partners. It might also be useful to consider in the longer term how other non-criminal justice agencies may be held to account for their part in delivering services for PPOs. This would be assisted by closer liaison between OCJR, the PPO team and NOMS who may also want to consider how greater linkage could be made between the Premium Service specification and the other two strands of the PPO strategy.

iii

Introduction
1. The Prolific and other Priority Offender Strategy (PPO) was launched by the Prime Minister in March 2004 with the aim of targeting offenders who commit the most crime and cause most harm within communities. As part of the overall strategy, the National Criminal Justice Board (NCJB) commissioned the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) to devise a national template for a PPO criminal justice system (CJS) Premium Service; this was published in August 2005.1 The expectation of this guidance was that agencies would agree a local Premium Service to ensure a more consistent and comprehensive approach by the criminal justice agencies to dealing with PPOs. 2. The NCJB agreed that Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJBs) would be responsible for the implementation of a criminal justice system Premium Service. In order to monitor progress on implementation of the premium service, a questionnaire was sent to all LCJBs in January 2006. This covered issues such as how a Premium Service was being governed locally, how it had been implemented, performance management, examples of good practice and issues to be addressed nationally (see Appendix B) The Research, Development and Statistics unit within OCJR has subsequently undertaken analysis of the responses to the survey. It should be recognised that the data are based on self-reported progress by LCJBs; no objective assessment of ratings has been given and it is not clear how representative the examples are of practice across LCJBs. Surveys were returned by all 42 LCJBs.

Implementation

3. The majority of LCJBs made a self assessment that they had agreed a Premium Service (38 out of 42)2. No LCJBs said they had not agreed a Premium Service, but four areas reported only partial agreement. 4. LCJBs were asked to rate their area’s performance on implementation on a red/amber/green (RAG) basis. [Please Note: this is a self-assessment by LCJBs and not an independently undertaken objective measure]. The guidelines provided to LCJBs were as follows: Red – no LCJB commitment to provide a CJS Premium Service; Amber/red – a commitment in principle has been made to provide a CJS Premium Service but not implemented; Amber/green – a CJS Premium Service has been developed and implementation is proceeding within timescales; Green – a CJS Premium Service is in place, reviewed and updated regularly. 5. No LCJBs reported that their current status was red. Most assessed themselves as amber/green (27 LCJBs) meaning that they were proceeding with implementation within agreed timescales3. Twelve LCJBs felt that their schemes had been fully implemented, with regular reviews and updates, and so rated themselves as green (12 out of 40). Three LCJBs rated themselves as amber/red. (See Appendix A for a full breakdown of RAG status by LCJB). 6. The national specification highlighted four factors that comprise a ‘premium service’ 1) faster processing, 2) prioritisation of resources, 3) enhanced quality standards, and 4) increased multi-agency collaboration. All LCJBs had at least partially implemented each of these elements. The most frequently fully implemented strand was that of increased multi agency collaboration (implemented by 38 LCJBs, with the four remaining areas reporting partial implementation), followed by enhanced quality standards and prioritisation of resources (both of these elements were fully implemented in 35 LCJBs, and partially in seven) and faster processing (30 had fully implemented and 12 partially). The following sections provide further information about how these strands were implemented.

Faster processing
7. LCJBs were least likely to have fully implemented the faster processing strand. However, there were numerous examples of how LCJBs had tried to develop systems to support this which impacted on all parts of the criminal justice system process, from point of arrest to the delivery of services and support for PPOs. The more collaborative approach to dealing with PPOs had assisted agencies in prioritising services. LCJBs often reported having established standards or timeliness targets, which included
Prolific and Other Priority Offender Strategy: Premium Service – National Premium Service specification. OCJR. August 2005. http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ppominisite03.htm. 2 It should be noted that the responses only reflect whether LCJBs had agreed to implement a Premium Service and not whether it had been fully implemented. The status of implementation is reflected in the RAG status in paragraph four. 3 The Premium Service specification detailed that a local Premium Service had to be implemented by the end of March 2006. However, LCJBs may not necessarily have rated themselves according to this deadline but rather could have used their own local timescales.
1

1

probation supervision plans being completed within 5 days of sentencing, warrants turned around within 7 days, fast tracking recalls and breaches and trial listings being prioritised. However, as these provisions were based on responses to a free text question, it is difficult to judge, overall, how many LCJBs had set time limits or standards at different parts of the process. 8. Further examples of delivering faster processing were highlighted. For the police, some LCJBs reported having improved intelligence gathering to help identify and target potential PPOs more effectively. Many LCJBs reported prioritising the execution of warrants and breaches and some LCJBs marked PPO case files to highlight the PPO status. In a small number of LCJBs responses suggested that the CPS prioritised PPO cases in terms of pre-charge advice and in the faster processing of evidence. This was then taken through to the courts more expeditiously via shorter bail periods, and priority court listings and was also assisted by probation and Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) providing sentence plans within a time limited period. 9. Where faster processing was working well, this was supported by more collaborative work between agencies who had developed a better understanding of each others roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, it was often felt that setting standards for service delivery made agencies more accountable. The majority of LCJBs who felt that the faster processing strand was not working suggested that this was because processes and protocols had not been fully embedded in everyday working practices and this had resulted in an inconsistent service across their areas. An area identified by some LCJBs for further improvement was extending standard setting to support services outside of the core agencies.

Prioritisation of resources
10. LCJBs were asked to rate, on a high/medium/low basis, what impact implementing the Premium Service specification had on the prioritisation of resources locally (a response from one LCJB was not received). Almost half of the responding LCJBs felt that the Premium Service specification had a medium impact on the prioritisation of resources locally; 14 reported a high impact. Figure 1: Impact of Premium Service specification on prioritising local resources
Low, 5

High, 15

Medium, 21

11. LCJBs were asked to explain why they had selected a particular impact rating. There appeared to be little distinction between why LCJBs rated the impact as high as opposed to medium or low. For example, at least seven LCJBs stated that work on PPOs existed prior to the specification, and yet two of these LCJBs rated the impact on prioritisation of resources as high, four as medium and one as low. One possible reason for the disparity in ratings could be that the questionnaire did not offer guidance as to how a high, medium or low impact rating should be assessed. Furthermore, some responses suggested that LCJBs were considering the impact that the Premium Service specification had on resources (i.e. the impact could be high because they needed more resources to deliver the specification) as opposed to its impact on prioritising resources in relation to PPOs (i.e. a high rating meaning LCJBs had been successful in re-prioritising resources in order to deal with PPOs more effectively).

2

12. There were some common explanations from LCJBs who rated impact as medium or high which were not prevalent in those who rated impact as low. For instance, four LCJBs said that the specification had led to the development of dedicated roles or teams, i.e. dedicated PPO drugs workers, or specialist police/probation teams. This would suggest re-prioritisation had been successful and hence a high or medium impact rating had been given. 13. The most frequently cited explanation for the impact of the Premium Service on how resources had been prioritised locally was that the specification had generally provided a greater focus for work with PPOs, and thus had improved multi-agency working. Assessments of impact again differed however, two of the five LCJBs who rated the impact on prioritisation of resources as low said that pressures from competing demands on resources made it difficult to prioritise PPO work despite the introduction of the Premium Service. Interestingly, one LCJB who rated impact on prioritisation of resources as high gave a similar explanation. 14. LCJBs reported that the Premium Service had generally increased the focus on PPOs which had provided an impetus for delivering services and more co-operation. As a result, PPOs had been prioritised in some LCJBs either through flagging up of cases, closer scrutiny of case files or continuous monitoring. The increased focus was backed up by improved resources in some LCJBs either through redeployment of existing staff (as was the case with YOTs in one LCJB), or simply through identifying that more resources were needed if the appropriate level of service was to be provided. One LCJB said that the focus from the Premium Service had helped to push the PPO agenda which would be beneficial when competing for scarce resources.

Enhanced quality standards

15. According to the Premium Service specification4, examples of delivering enhanced quality standards include more frequent supervisory contacts with offenders or enhanced assurance/decision making processes. However, when asked to detail activities relating to this strand LCJBs more generally spoke of improving the clarity and focus of work via the specification, providing a focus for strategic work or applying more standardised procedures. Other examples, similar to those detailed in relation to faster processing, e.g. fast tracking cases, more intelligence and expediting breaches, were also provided here. Fewer examples were provided of specific activities to improve quality standards. This could suggest that although the specification is divided into four delivery strands, activities are seen as contributing to the premium service specification as a whole. Thus there is little reference back to the four strands when developing and monitoring the scheme’s delivery. 16. Specific examples of how the Premium Service specification had helped to enhance quality standards included, enhancing the level of supervision of staff, and the creation of specialist teams of probation staff to provide more supervision. One LCJB stated that the police had enhanced the quality of their investigations and interviews of PPOs and had more intelligence available on cases. Another LCJB said they had a closer links pre-charge between the police and CPS and they carefully considered public interest factors when reviewing cases. This was followed up by closer liaison over licence conditions and more timely probation and YOTS sentence reports. One example provided here, but which is not necessarily linked to enhanced quality standards, detailed how the LCJB had an IT based Premium Service document that guided staff through the Premium Service protocol, allowing them to understand the main principles. The document also included hyperlinks to supporting policy and guidance documents. This kind of document might be useful in helping to embed a Premium Service across agencies.

Increased multi-agency collaboration
17. LCJBs were asked whether the Premium Service specification had assisted in ensuring improved multiagency collaboration through a) increased frequency of meetings, b) increased data sharing, c) the colocation of services, and/or d) any other methods. Increased data sharing (34 LCJBs) was the most frequently cited output followed by increased frequency of meetings (33 LCJBs). The co-location of services was cited by 19 LCJBs. This is higher than has been stated elsewhere in the report but is likely to be a more accurate reflection of the prevalence of co-location because a response was specifically required to whether teams had co-located. In other parts of the report co-location was mentioned in response to free text questions. This meant that some LCJBs would have used co-location for some responses but not for others.

Prolific and Other Priority Offender Strategy: Premium Service – National Premium Service specification. OCJR. August 2005. http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ppominisite03.htm.

4

3

18. There was a general sense from some LCJBs that multi-agency collaboration had improved the understanding of how agencies operated and how they could better work together which, in some instances, had led to formalising processes and agreeing protocols. Individual LCJBs reported, for example, arrangements to fast track cases and expedite court proceedings; having a centrally located administration team; and problem solving sessions with agencies. A number of LCJBs however, reported that systems had been in place prior to the Premium Service specification and therefore felt that little had been required to bring them into line with the specification. Key findings – Implementation The majority of LCJBs (38) had agreed a Premium Service and had at least partially implemented all four strands of the specification. No LCJBs reported a Red/Amber/Green (RAG) status of red, 27 rated themselves as amber/green (a Premium Service had been developed and implemented and was proceeding within timescales); and 12 green (meaning they had implemented, reviewed and regularly updated their service). All four strands of the Premium Service: 1) faster processing, 2) prioritisation of resources, 3) enhanced quality standards, and 4) increased multi-agency collaboration had at least been partially implemented across LCJBs. Increased multi-agency collaboration was the strand that most of the LCJBs had fully implemented (38), and was partially introduced in the remaining four LCJBs. PPOs were being prioritised throughout the criminal justice system by core agencies through the identification of processes and protocols and the setting of standards for delivery. When the need for improvement was recognised it was felt to be because processes needed more time to be embedded into everyday practices. The perceived impact of the prioritisation of resources differed across LCJBs, however at least seven LCJBs reported having provisions in place prior to the introduction of the specification and so thought little had to be done to bring them into line with the specification.

Governance
19. Overall responsibility for delivering the Premium Service specification rests with LCJBs. It is therefore useful to consider what arrangements they have in place for governing the strategy and how the specification has been delivered by agencies on the ground. 20. Based on responses to a free text question all LCJBs could be considered to have governance structures in place to monitor Premium Service delivery. Arrangements took a variety of forms but were mainly controlled or managed by LCJBs (37 out of 42) with many choosing to devolve responsibilities to working groups variously called: PPO offender management/strategic group/sub groups (19), PPO steering/working/task/performance development groups (9), Multi-agency PPO management groups (MAPPOM, 3), and county joint agency groups (4). In five cases, it was not clear from responses whether LCJBs received information back from local PPO schemes5. These working groups also monitored the delivery of the Premium Service, for example, in one LCJB, the county steering group received monthly reports from agencies, and they then reviewed individual cases and reported any blockages in service delivery. 21. LCJBs received information about local schemes’ performance frequently (35 out of 42 LCJBs). Six said they did not receive this information (1 response was missing). 22. The national specification sets out requirements for five agencies to agree and implement: the police, CPS, Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS), National Offender Management Service (NOMS), and YOTs. LCJBs were asked which of these agencies, and any others, had agreed to implement a Premium Service (figure 2). The chart indicates that all LCJBs had sign-up from the police, CPS, and HMCS to implement a Premium Service. YOTs were signed up in 41 LCJBs and NOMS in 40. This suggests that the majority of LCJBs had full sign up from the five core agencies. In addition to the core agencies, 22 LCJBs reported securing sign up to the protocol from other agencies. Most frequently cited were Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) (seven), Drug and/or alcohol services (seven), and victim and witness services (four).
5

LCJBs are responsible for implementing a Premium Service specification within their areas, i.e. ensuing that all five core agencies meet the recommendations set out in the guidance. However, local PPO schemes are bodies that are responsible for the selection and monitoring of PPOs within LCJB areas.

4

Figure 2: Agencies agreeing to implement a Premium Service
0 Police CPS HMCS NOMS YOTs Others Yes No 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44

23. LCJBs were asked to rate each agencies’ involvement in multi-agency partnership working by rating a specified number of agencies. Responses to the previous question, in paragraph 22, also relate to multiagency working but responses will differ because here LCJBs were asked to rate a longer specified list as opposed to freely recalling them from memory. Furthermore, the question on frequency of multiagency involvement did not specifically reference multi-agency working for the purposes of the Premium Service. Hence ratings could have been made with reference to general multi-agency working and not necessarily just about work relating to the Premium Service. 24. The police were rated as being ‘constantly involved’ in all 42 LCJBs. Probation services were ‘constantly involved’ in 40 out of 42, followed by YOTS in 34. Despite being one of the five core agencies, HMCS was less frequently rated as being ‘constantly’ involved (19 LCJBs), being reported to be ‘at least once a week’ in seven LCJBs or ‘at least once a month’ in 11. Similarly prisons were only rated as being ‘constantly’ involved in 19 LCJBs, and involvement reported to be ‘at least once a week’ in 12 LCJBs and ‘at least once a month’ in nine LCJBs. Although not a core agency in terms of the specification, Drugs Intervention Programmes (DIP)/Drug Action Teams (DAT) were frequently involved in multiagency working with 24 rated as being ‘constantly involved.’ Table 1: Agencies involved and the frequency of multi-agency partnership working Number of Number of Number of LCJBs LCJBs Agencies involved in multiLCJBs involved 'at involved 'at involved agency partnership working least once a least once a 'constantly' week' month' Police 42 0 0 HMCS 19 7 11 YOTs 34 4 4 Probation 40 2 0 Prisons 19 12 9 DIP/DAT 24 6 9 Local Authority 12 7 20 Primary Care Trusts 4 4 20 Local Education services 3 4 15 Dept. of Work and Pensions 2 4 11 National Health Service 4 5 11 Voluntary sector 10 9 15 Other 8 2 5 Number of LCJBs 'not involved in partnership working' 0 4 0 0 1 1 1 10 15 20 17 4 27

Total*

42 41 42 42 41 40 40 38 37 37 37 38 42

* Some fields were left blank and thus have been recorded as missing and therefore rows do not always add up to 42 it is therefore not possible to judge whether blank responses mean that an agency is not involved versus them not completing the question.

5

25. In addition to the core agencies involved in delivering a Premium Service LCJBs had links to regional reoffending partnerships in 31 out of the 42 LCJBs. Furthermore, 34 LCJBs reported having access to data from government offices on performance management. Seven LCJBs said they did not have access and one failed to respond to this question. Key findings – Governance Governance arrangements were in place across all LCJBs. The majority of LCJBs frequently received information about the performance of local PPO schemes. All Police, CPS and HMCS agencies across LCJBs had seen and agreed to implement a Premium Service, as well as YOTS in 41 LCJBs and NOMS in 40 LCJBs. A number of LCJBs also reported having links, both formal and informal, with other agencies including drug/alcohol services, victim and witness services and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs).

Performance monitoring and management
26. This section covers performance management of both individual PPO cases - how they are identified, monitored and tracked; and agencies performance against the Premium Service specification and how that is monitored.

Performance monitoring of individual cases
27. LCJBs were asked to detail what information local partners used to identify potential PPOs. All LCJBs reported considering criminal history and police intelligence; and all but one LCJB also used type of offence, probation intelligence and the National Intelligence Model. CDRP priorities were considered in 40 out of the 42 LCJBs and offender’s drug use was used in 37. In addition, 17 LCJBs also considered other factors. Most frequently cited were, community intelligence (4) including from wardens (1) and community incident action groups (1); information from YOTs (3 LCJBs); prison service or other agency intelligence (3); information from local authorities or housing providers (3); and other scoring systems or mechanisms such as ASSET, OASys, scoring matrices (3). 28. Once a list of PPOs had been generated LCJBs tended to share this information with various agencies, including some outside of those listed as core agencies in the Premium Service specification. The police had access to lists in all 42 LCJBs and these were frequently shared with NOMS (39), the CPS and YOTs (37), but less so with the court service who only received lists in 27 of the 42 LCJBs. When lists were shared more widely with other agencies those most frequently cited were; Drugs Intervention Programmes (14), CDRPs (9), Local Authorities/councils (6), and housing providers (6). 29. The most common mechanisms for monitoring PPO cases through the system was J-track, either on its own (10 LCJBs) or with other monitoring tools or databases (11 LCJBs). When available, J-track was used to share data across agencies and monitor cases through the system. However, agencies felt that it would be beneficial for all agencies to have access to J-track in order to enhance data sharing and exchange. LCJBs also frequently mentioned monitoring cases via joint agency groups (13) or by a combination of monthly reviews/case management meetings with other databases (3). Information from these monitoring systems was frequently fed into the various LCJB strategic/working groups detailed in the section on governance arrangements for consideration.

Performance management of the Premium Service
30. LCJBs were questioned about their opinion of whether, and how, Premium Service performance management was embedded in the single LCJB delivery planning process. Over a third of LCJBs felt that they had embedded the specification into their delivery plans (16) and six LCJBs were in the process of developing this for forthcoming delivery plans. A further 11 LCJBs reported managing Premium Service via groups associated with the board but they did not specifically reference it as being part of the delivery plan. 31. LCJBs were asked whether a Premium Service had been embedded in individual agencies’ performance management processes. In the majority of cases (33 out of 42), the police and NOMS had embedded performance management into their existing processes. This happened less frequently in YOTs (27) and the CPS (25) but was still cited in over half of LCJBs. Embedding into HMCS processes was less frequent (17 LCJBs). Fifteen LCJBs had arrangements with other non-core agencies, most frequently DIP/DAT providers (4), or CDRPs (3).

6

32. One of the criteria for achieving a green RAG status was that the Premium Service was reviewed and updated regularly. To this end, LCJBs were asked how frequently they undertook reviews. For the majority of LCJBs this happened on a quarterly basis (18 out of 40) followed by annually (13 LCJBs). A total of eight LCJBs reviewed performance on a monthly basis. However, two LCJBs said not at all (one who rated themselves as amber/red and one amber/green), and one had not decided upon the frequency (rated as amber/green). Key findings – Performance monitoring and management Lists of PPOs were generally shared amongst representatives all the core agencies but the HMCS received this information much less frequently than the police, NOMS, CPS and YOTs. The most common monitoring tool for tracking PPO cases was J-track which was used in 21 LCJBs. Not all of the core agencies could access this system and LCJBs felt that improving access would be beneficial for all agencies to help improve data sharing and exchange. Other LCJBs used joint agency groups to monitor cases (13) or used a combination of case reviews and other databases. Information from these various systems was frequently fed into LCJB strategic or working groups. Performance management of Premium Service was embedded in individual performance monitoring arrangements of each agency’ [in 33 police and NOMS agencies out of 42; 27 YOTs; 25 CPS and 17 HMCS].

General comments on the Premium Service specification
33. This final section covers responses to free text questions relating to more general aspects of delivering a Premium Service. Responses to questions were open ended so LCJBs were free to provide any examples to illustrate their practice or point of view. As a result responses do not necessarily reflect all those LCJBs operating particular examples of good practice e.g. co-location of teams, rather they represent how many LCJBs responded with a similar example to the same question. Caution should therefore be expressed when interpreting the results presented in this section.

How is the Premium Service changing practice on the ground
34. Given the focus the Premium Service specification has brought upon PPOs it is important to consider how this might have changed practice on the ground. When asked to provide examples of how this had happened across LCJBs a number of factors were highlighted. It should be noted however that the findings only represent specific examples provided by areas, and not an independent assessment of how much practice had changed. 35. The most common way in which the delivery of a Premium Service was felt to have changed practice was to make agencies more joined-up. This ranged from improving relationships between agencies to, understanding and identifying processes to help fast track PPOs, to increased data sharing. For some LCJBs, the improved multi-agency working had led to more clarification around processes for dealing with offenders, which in turn led to a better understanding about agencies’ roles and responsibilities. Two LCJBs said that the specification had changed practice on the ground by providing them with a mechanism to make agencies more accountable. For one, this was by using service level agreements, but, for the other it was the sense of joint ownership that meant they could take agencies to task. 36. The Premium Service specification had generally increased the focus of PPOs which had provided an impetus for delivering services and more co-operation. As a result, PPOs had been prioritised in some LCJBs either through the flagging up of cases, closer scrutiny of case files or continuous monitoring. One LCJB said that the focus from the specification had helped to push the PPO agenda, which would be beneficial when competing for scarce resources. 37. There were few differences between LCJBs in terms of how practice had changed on the ground and how they rated themselves in terms of the RAG assessment. The only noticeable difference was that 3 LCJBs who had rated themselves as green reported that work similar to that required in the Premium Service specification had already been in place before the specification was introduced.

Good Practice
38. LCJBs were asked to provide examples of good practice based on their experiences of operating a Premium Service. Space was limited on the survey for this discussion and it was not possible to assess

7

the quality of examples given, nor how representative they were of practice as a whole across LCJBs. For this reason, the numbers of LCJBs mentioned in this report represent those who referred to particular functions and should not be taken as evidence that other LCJBs do not perform the same or similar functions, just that they did not note them in their returns. The following should however, provide a flavour of the range of activities operating across Premium Service schemes. In general good practice examples tended to focus on the following areas: multi-agency working and multi-agency operating groups, co-location, prioritisation of resources, the provision of guidance, and funding. 39. Multi-agency working/operating groups: Although the Premium Service inherently requires agencies to work together, LCJBs reported a variety of mechanisms for achieving this. A large majority of schemes had developed joint agency groups, at both county and local levels. These were frequently called PPO strategic groups, or offender management groups, and helped to oversee the operation of schemes. These bodies tended to monitor implementation, but were also used in some LCJBs to develop guidance and/or joint agency protocols for dealing with PPOs. 40. The use of multi-agency workshops was cited by at least three LCJBs. One LCJB reported setting up a ‘development day’ workshop to launch the specification and discuss good practice. Other LCJBs used these events to clarify structures, identify issues and manage problems. In addition to specific tasks, these workshops seemed to be useful for developing links with agencies, particularly with prison and probation services in one LCJB which led to greater access to prisons for visits and pre-release planning meetings. 41. A number of LCJBs reported having seconded personnel to assist with the delivery of a Premium Service. Two LCJBs cited having seconded prison officers working with the police, one a seconded police officer assisting probation, and another had a probation officer assisting the police. The other mechanism was to have dedicated staff working on aspects of PPO cases. For instance, one LCJB reported having criminal justice teams, statutory charging lawyers and evidence review officers working together to solve a problem with the Police National Computer (PNC); another said they had partnership intelligence development officers to track PPOs and liaise with agencies. One LCJB reported having nominated representatives from police, CPS and courts to be responsible for case progression and liaison. Another LCJB had senior prosecutors involved in decisions to discontinue cases; and another made these decisions using a multi-agency approach. 42. Co-location: Seven LCJBs reported6 having co-located teams, either across an LCJB, or in one or two locations in the area, to assist in the management of PPOs. Improved links to prisons and probation were again highlighted. One LCJB reported having a multi-agency intelligence team consisting of police, probation and prison staff that was able to access information from all three agency systems electronically. 43. Prioritisation: A number of LCJBs reported agreements to assist in the prioritisation of PPO cases. This included agreements to fast track breach cases (as cited by two LCJBs), PPO trials being listed at 10am in courts (one LCJB), prompt recalls of failure to appear or failure to engage in multi-agency interventions (two LCJBs), and arrest referral workers prioritising PPO cases in custody (one LCJB). 44. Guidance: Numerous LCJBs mentioned developing specific PPO guidance. In one LCJB operational guidance stemmed from a gap analysis of how their Premium Service compared to the national specification. Another LCJB developed a flowchart for police officers taking them through Premium Service requirements. Similarly, a LCJB in another area developed a police guide splitting down stages of the process, roles and responsibilities to assist officers in delivering a Premium Service. Other mechanisms included developing warrant protocols and custody templates; or having developed a scoring matrix for the identification and selection of PPOs. 45. Funding: A number of LCJBs reported securing a PPO co-ordinator to assist in the administration, liaison and co-ordination of PPO activities across areas. Funding was either secured through mechanisms such as the stronger and safer communities’ initiative, through the CDRP or came from reprioritising or allocating personnel to assist the schemes. Funding was also used for other ventures, as in the case of one LCJB who commissioned a piece of research to look at how well each of the strands of Premium Service was working across their Community Safety Partnerships (CSP). They then utilised this information to develop practical solutions to problems identified.

6

Specifically in response to this question and therefore not necessarily reflective of practice across all LCJBs

8

Gaps in the national Premium Service
46. LCJBs were asked to highlight any gaps that they felt existed in the national Premium Service. These broadly fitted into the following themes; the integration of other agencies into the specification, the provision of funding, and areas for development in the specification. 47. Integrating other agencies: One of the most frequently cited issues was that CDRPs were not mentioned in the specification and, therefore, no obligations had been outlined. This was said by some LCJBs to lead to tensions about whose responsibility aspects of the scheme were. In addition, it was felt that the specification should cover non-criminal justice agencies, because to truly deliver a Premium Service, links to the community and other non-statutory agencies needed to be made. Questions were raised about how LCJBs could integrate other agencies, such as health and housing, Job centre plus, and even prisons and courts further. The lack of reference to victim services, DIP, health and mental health services was also raised. It was felt that Premium Service needed more time to become embedded into processes, and to truly establish a multi-agency approach to tackling PPOs. This would eventually lead to more robust practices and protocols to assist delivery. 48. Funding: A concern was raised about the lack of funding available to implement and deliver a Premium Service. Some felt that the lack of funding generally made it difficult to deliver an effective service, but others were more specific about the need to provide administrative support and assistance in performance monitoring in particular. A related issue was the need to provide more guidance around performance monitoring as this was not only a resource burden but also led to inconsistencies locally in file preparation and monitoring. 49. Developing the specification: LCJBs highlighted areas that could be developed further in the specification. Some felt that the guidance was too long, because it included details of existing working practices. Whilst others felt that it did not provide enough detail for practitioners, with local protocols being more useful for this purpose. Quite a few comments were raised about the lack of clarity around the remaining strands of the PPO Strategy - Prevent & Deter and Rehabilitate & Resettle. It was generally felt that, in order to provide a holistic approach, the other strands needed to be covered in more depth in the specification. Indeed, the narrow focus of the Catch & Convict strand was felt by some to be detrimental to joined-up working.

National Support
50. Following on from discussion about gaps in the national Premium Service, LCJBs were asked to highlight areas that needed to be addressed at a national level. The most common themes to emerge were defining responsibilities for wider agencies, data access, and the provision of more guidance. 51. Wider agency responsibilities: The most widely raised issue to address nationally was the need to ensure that agencies, beyond the core criminal justice agencies, were incorporated into, and made accountable for delivering a Premium Service. LCJBs mentioned the following agencies: housing and treatment providers – to be more accountable for delivering services within timescales; a suggestion to use the national housing development scheme to ensure accommodation is available post-release for prisoners was made; the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to consider how much information they are willing to share on PPOs; the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and Department of Health (DOH) to engage more and to target resources to the scheme; voluntary and private sector support in relation to accommodation, employment and training; more commitment from Primary Care trusts (PCTs), social services and social care and to involve Job Centre Plus. 52. Data access: Providing key agencies with access to J–track was frequently mentioned by LCJBs as an important issue to address nationally. Some felt that the lack of availability of data prevented effective working and information sharing and made it difficult to track offenders across criminal justice areas. Other suggestions from LCJBs were to extend access to a system called ASSET; create an interface with a system used by the police called NSPIS custody to reduce the data inputting burden; or utilise the CJS exchange to extract data on PPOs to avoid double keying of information. A few LCJBs also requested that data be supplied nationally to areas to allow CDRPs and LCJBs to monitor whether they were being successful in reducing crime and preventing re-offending.

9

53. Performance monitoring: A large number of LCJBs felt that more direction could be provided around performance monitoring. It was felt that the national framework did not provide meaningful data for local areas and could not be used to look at long term effectiveness. One LCJB suggested including shared performance targets to help improve multi-agency delivery. 54. Guidance: Other issues not previously mentioned around improving the specification that LCJBs felt could benefit from clearer guidance from the centre were: governance arrangements; data collection and data sharing; assessment of the effectiveness of implementation; clarity about the relationship between Persistent Young Offenders (PYOs) and PPOs, perhaps bringing them under one scheme; clarity about the responsibilities of CDRPs versus LCJBs; inter-agency training and mechanisms for sharing good practice.

Key findings – General comments on the Premium Service specification LCJBs reported a number of examples of good practice in the areas of: i) multi-agency working – through joint agency groups and establishing workshops to launch the specification; ii) prioritisation – establishing fast track proceedings for breaches and priority listings in court; iii) guidance – development of flow charts of processes, or warrant protocols; iv) funding – for PPO co-ordinators or research projects. However, it is not clear how representative these are of general working practices across LCJBs. Improved multi-agency working has not only led to benefits in terms of changing practice on the ground i.e. through the prioritisation of PPO cases, or through setting service level agreements, but it has also had additional benefits in terms of understanding agencies roles and responsibilities and in the clarification of processes relating to PPOs which has helped to improve services for PPOs more generally. A number of gaps or wider issues around the national Premium Service specification were highlighted by LCJBs. The most common themes were the need: o to incorporate non-criminal justice agencies in the specification to truly provide a holistic approach to dealing with PPOs, for example Job Centre plus, Primary Care Trusts and voluntary sector agencies; o to clarify the roles and responsibilities of agencies outside of the five core agencies for delivering support; o to clarify the role of CDRPs and how they relate to LCJBs; o to provide greater clarity about how the two remaining strands of the PPO Strategy – Prevent & Deter and Rehabilitate & Resettle - fit into the overall national PPO premium service; o to provide all key agencies with access to a monitoring system, such as J-track, to allow data sharing and to provide more guidance around performance monitoring of PPOs.

Conclusion and recommendations
55. This final section summarises the major findings and puts forward suggestions for OCJR and the Home Office PPO team to consider about how the Premium Service specification could be improved. 56. Overall, responses to the questionnaire suggest that good progress has been made towards delivering an improved service to manage PPOs via the Premium Service Specification. This is demonstrated by the number of LCJBs who reported having agreed and implemented a Premium Service and by the fact that no LCJBs rated themselves as red on the RAG status assessment. The specification sets out four strands for delivering a Premium Service: 1) faster processing, 2) prioritisation of resources, 3) enhanced quality standards, and 4) increased multi-agency collaboration. However, there appears to be little reference back to these elements in implementing the specification. It is therefore difficult to judge

10

exactly how LCJBs are implementing these four elements of the premium service in line with requirements. 57. A number of examples of good practice were highlighted by LCJBs including, LCJBs establishing specialist teams to manage PPOs, and agencies setting standards for service delivery for various practice and procedures. It would be beneficial to undertake further work to explore these examples, the extent to which they provide an accurate representation of the range, quality and frequency of good practice, and what other good practice exists within LCJBs. This information could then be disseminated in order to promote the sharing of good practice and to further enhance knowledge about the Premium Service. 58. One of the strongest findings to come out of the survey was the extent to which agencies within LCJBs were working more collaboratively to provide a better service for PPOs. Improvements in increased multi-agency working had helped to change practice on the ground for example through the prioritisation of PPO cases throughout the system, or through the establishment of service level agreements with agencies’ in some LCJBs. They had also helped to improve relationships between agencies in general. For example, some LCJBs spoke of having a better understanding of agencies’ roles and responsibilities; greater clarity about processes; or of having a greater sense of joint ownership of cases. Although relationships or practices were said to have improved, in some areas this was not replicated across the LCJB. Given time though, it was felt that processes and procedures would become more embedded into every day practice and thus lead to a greater consistency across areas. It may however be useful to revisit service provision across LCJBs at a later date to ensure that this has happened. 59. One of the drawbacks highlighted by LCJBs about the specification was that it did not go beyond the five core criminal justice agencies. It was felt that this made it difficult to hold agencies outside of the core to account for their part in providing a better end to end process. However, as noted above, some LCJBs did feel that increased multi-agency collaboration, whether solely for the purposes of the Premium Service, or more widely, had improved. This sometimes extended to agencies outside of the five core criminal justice agencies to e.g. DIP teams, victim and witness services, or CDRPs. Although there are no immediate plans to widen the specification, it would be useful to consider other ways of improving linkages between agencies, for example through the sharing of good practice across all relevant agencies within the LCJB area. 60. Despite the request for extending the specification further, responses to the survey do also suggest that there is room to improve the relationships between the five core criminal justice agencies already outlined in the specification as well. Fewer examples were provided in the responses of how the specification had led to improvements for NOMS, HMCS and to some extent YOTs, and these agencies were less frequently involved in multi-agency partnership working than the police. It would therefore be useful to consider how the premium service might need to be improved to ensure more involvement and commitment from these partners. Relationships might also be further improved by more regular reviews of service provision and by the use of reports from J-Track to monitor the progress of PPOs more effectively in LCJB meetings. 61. Finally, the Premium Service specification is only one part of the PPO strategy. LCJBs felt that more linkage could have been made to the Prevent and Deter, and Resettle and Rehabilitate strands. If LCJBs are really to deliver a better end to end process then there needs to be more co-ordination with work outside of that covered in the specification. Tackling the PPO strategy as a whole may assist in developing strategic thinking further, something which the specification appears to have encouraged, and it may help decisions about how resources could be re-prioritised. This could be assisted further by closer liaison between the PPO team, NOMS and OCJR.

11

Appendix A
RAG Status for England and Wales LCJB’s: How would you rate your area’s performance?

NORTHUMBRIA

DURHAM CUMBRIA CLEVELAND

NORTH YORKSHIRE

HUMBERSIDE LANCASHIRE WEST YORKSHIRE GREATER MANCHESTER MERSEYSIDE SOUTH YORKSHIRE

CHESHIRE NORTH WALES

DERBYSHIRE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

LINCOLNSHIRE

STAFFORDSHIRE

NORFOLK LEICESTERSHIRE

WEST MIDLANDS CAMBRIDGESHIRE WEST MERCIA NORTHAMPTONSHIRE WARWICKSHIRE BEDFORDSHIRE DYFED POWYS ESSEX GLOUCESTERSHIRE GWENT SOUTH WALES THAMES VALLEY MET / CITY OF LONDON HERTFORDSHIRE SUFFOLK

WILTSHIRE

SURREY HAMPSHIRE SUSSEX

KENT

AVON & SOMERSET

DEVON & CORNWALL

DORSET

Key

RED - No LCJB commitment to provide a CJS premium service has been given AMBER/RED - A commitment in principle has been made to provide a Premium Service but not implemented

AMBER/GREEN – A premium service has been developed and implementation is proceeding within timescales GREEN – A CJS premium service is in place, reviewed and updated regularly

12

Appendix B

PPO Premium Service survey questions
Yes/No/Partially

1. Has the LCJB agreed a Premium Service?

2. Has the LCJB implemented a Premium Service? • Faster Processing – Yes/No/Partially • Prioritisation of – Yes/No/Partially • Enhanced Quality Standards – Yes/No/Partially • Increased multi-agency – Yes/No/Partially 3. What governance arrangements are in place? (please answer below in less than 50 words) 4. What reporting mechanisms are in place? (please answer below in less than 50 words) 5. Which agencies have seen and agreed to implement the Premium Service? Police CPS Court Service NOMS YOTS Other (please state all involved) 6. Has the LCJB developed links with the regional reducing re-offending partnerships (ROMs or equivalent) – Yes/No 7. Do you receive information about local schemes? – Yes/No 8. What information is used to identify potential PPOs? • Criminal History • Type of offence • Police Intelligence • Probation Intelligence • Drug Use • CDRP Priorities • National Intelligence Model (NIM) • Other (please state) 9. Which other agencies is the list of PPOs shared with (tick all that apply)? • Police • CPS • Court Service • NOMS • YOTs • Other (please state all others involved) 10. What impact do you feel the Premium Service Specification has had on prioritising local resources? High/Medium/Low (tick appropriate level and explain why) 11. How the areas Premium Service assisting in delivering enhanced quality standards? 12. What agencies are involved in multi-agency partnership working? (Please respond with either constantly, at least once a week, at least once a month, or not involved in partnership work) • Probation • Prison • Police • DIP/DAT • Local Authority • PCT

13

• • • • • • •

LSC Education YOT DWP NHS Voluntary Sector Court Services Other (state)

13. How has the Premium Service Specification assisted in ensuring improved multi-agency collaboration? • • • • Increased frequency of meetings Increased data sharing Co-location of services Others (please explain in box)

14. What mechanisms (e.g. multi-agency case management groups) does the LCJB have in place to monitor delivery of the PPO Premium Service? 15. How is the progress of PPO Cases monitored through the system? 16. Is the PPO premium service embedded in individual agencies’ performance management arrangements? (Yes/No) Police CPS Court Service NOMS YOTs Other(s) 17. How is the Premium Service performance management embedded in the single LCJB delivery planning process? 18. Does the PPO Premium Service have access to the data held by the GO on PPO performance management framework and self assessment process report? Yes/No 19. How frequently are PPO Premium Service reviews undertaken? Monthly/Quarterly/Annually/Not at all 20. How is the area’s Premium Service assisting in delivering faster processing of PPO cases? 21. How is the Premium Service changing practice on the ground? 22. What specific examples of good practice in implementing the Premium Service in your LCJB area can you give? 23. What gaps do you feel there are within the National Premium Service? 24. What wider issues do you feel should be addressed nationally? 25. Based on the responses given in this survey and the guidelines below, how do you rate your area’s performance? • • • • Red – No LCJB commitment to provide a CJS premium service has been given. Amber/Red – a commitment in principle has been made to provide a premium service but, not implemented. Amber/Green – a premium service has been developed and implementation is proceeding within timescales. Green – A CJS premium service scheme is in place, reviewed and updated regularly.

14