Meet the team

Chief Inspector

Martin Jones CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Probation

Martin Jones joined the Inspectorate in March 2024 after nine years as Chief Executive of the Parole Board. At the Parole Board, he was awarded a CBE for services to victims, transparency and diversity in the parole system. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Director for Sentencing Policy from 2012 to 2015 and as Head of Crime for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service from 2008 to 2011.

Chief Operating Officer

Marc Baker director operations

Marc Baker, Chief Operating Officer

Marc joined the Inspectorate on 01 May 2018, he has over 20 years experience in Change and Programme Management from Ofqual where he was Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this, he spent two years as a Programme Director with the Solicitors Regulation Authority and many years as a management consultant working in a number of organisations including NATO, the City of London Police and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Heads of Functions

Simi O’Neill, Head of Probation Inspection Programme

Simi qualified as a probation officer in 2004, and worked in Greater Manchester as a probation officer and various managerial positions, including offender management, unpaid work and integrated offender management. Simi joined HM Inspectorate of Probation as an inspector in early 2016, and has led small youth inspections, thematic inspections, adult core inspections and has been involved in a number of Joint Targeted Inspections. In 2020 Simi was appointed the Head of NPS Inspections – now Head of Probation Inspection Programme following the unification of probation services in June 2021.

Andrea Brazier, Head of Youth Inspection Programme

Andrea joined the Inspectorate as our Head of Youth Inspection Programme in July 2021. She was previously the Service Manager for Young People at Wiltshire Council and has worked in the youth justice sector for the past 11 years. She was a qualified probation and senior probation officer for more than a decade before moving into youth justice. Her past roles have included senior practitioner within a youth offending team (YOT), YOT manager, and Early Help Service Manager. Prior to her arrival at the Inspectorate, Andrea developed and led the local authority team dedicated to tackling Child Exploitation and extra familial harm, as well as working with families where children were at risk of becoming looked after. Andrea brings a wealth of experience to our youth inspection programme, and an ambition to ensure the best possible outcomes for all children under supervision.


Andy Bonny, Head of Operations Management

Andy joined the Civil Service in 1987 and has worked in a number of departments including what was then the Department for Social Security, the Home Office, as well as the Ministry of Justice. Andy joined HM Inspectorate of Probation in 2000 as Deputy Audit Manager for the Audit of Accredited Programmes.

He is now Head of Operations Management with oversight for support services as well as being responsible for the scheduling and resourcing of inspections.


Louise Cordell, Head of Communications

Louise joined HM Inspectorate of Probation in 2024. Louise originally trained as a journalist, reporting and editing across newspapers and magazines for 10 years before moving into corporate communications. Since then, she has worked in communications roles across the housing and higher education sectors, specialising in media relations, crisis and strategic communications, public affairs and internal engagement.


Helen Davies, Head of Thematic & Joint Inspections

Helen has over twenty years’ experience of working within the Criminal Justice System as both a practitioner and senior manager. Starting her career as a probation officer, Helen then moved to set up and manage a youth offending team. Later, as Head of Improvement at the Youth Justice Board, Helen led the youth offending team national performance improvement programme.

Helen joined HM Inspectorate of Probation in 2009 and has been responsible for inspections across all programmes.  In her current role, Helen works closely with other inspectorates within criminal justice and child protection. Helen is a fluent Welsh speaker and has responsibility for HM Inspectorate of Probation’s Welsh Language Scheme.


Helen Mercer, Head of Policy and Standards

Helen has twenty years experience in the youth justice sector in practitioner, leadership, strategy and policy roles across community and custodial settings. Helen is a qualified probation officer and joined HM Inspectorate of Probation as an Inspector in 2014. Prior to that Helen was part of the senior management team at the Youth Justice Board leading national youth resettlement programmes.



Dr Robin Moore, Head of Research

Robin joined HM Inspectorate of Probation as Head of Research in 2015. He provides strategic leadership and direction to the Inspectorate’s research team and oversees the team’s research products and the analytical support to adult, youth and thematic inspections. Robin has over 20 years’ experience of leading and managing research strategies and programmes and undertaking quantitative and qualitative projects. He was previously Head of the Research Programme within the National Offender Management Service, and has also worked in academia. He has published on a range of topics including assessment, intervention delivery, multi-agency working, leadership, and evidence-informed practice.


Liz Smith, Head of Inspection Methodology and Assurance

Liz joined the world of probation as a volunteer in 1980, and then worked as a PSO, PO, and SPO, covering tasks including Unpaid Work, Programmes, Approved Premises, and Magistrates and Crown Court Liaison. As an Assistant Chief Officer, she managed a large rural LDU, and led her Probation Trust on public protection and safeguarding. She was involved in joint regional quality improvement projects between prisons and Probation Trusts in the Midlands. Since joining HM Inspectorate of Probation in 2013, Liz has led inspections in the adult and youth sectors, and has taken the lead on POMI (joint work with HM Inspectorate of Prisons). She also designed and led the two thematic inspections on Through the Gate resettlement services.


Mitchell James, Head of Learning, Development and Quality Assurance

Mitchell joined the Inspectorate in 2022, having spent the past decade in probation and youth justice services. His career in these fields began in 2013 at Wales Probation Trust, before qualifying as a probation officer in London where he worked across several services and courts. He went on to work in the youth justice sector in a number of the city’s boroughs before finally making the move into the learning and development sector.

Since joining the Inspectorate, Mitchell has been responsible for introducing a learning and development strategy as well as overseeing the new, professionalisation programme for our inspectors.