Inspection of Offender Management in Northumbria

The latest inspection report on adult offending work in England and Wales was published today.

Andy Smith, Assistant Chief Inspector of Probation, said:

“This inspection of offender management work in Northumbria took place as part of our second programme of Offender Management Inspections. We have examined a representative sample of probation (adult offending) cases from the Trust, and have judged how often the work with each case was done to a sufficiently high level of quality.

“The purpose of offender management has been usefully characterised as to ‘Punish, Help, Change and Control’ each individual offender, in accordance with the need of the individual case. Although our detailed inspection findings can seem rather technical for the general reader, our headline findings can be related to those ‘plain language’ purposes. We have given particular attention to the ‘Control’ purpose – the Public Protection aspect of the work – since this is where independent inspection can add the most value. Our ‘Risk of Harm to others score’ measures how well this has been done.

“Over the Trust as a whole, we judged that the work to keep to a minimum each individual’s Risk of Harm to others – i.e. the ‘Control’ purpose’ – was done well enough 81% of the time. The work to make each individual less likely to reoffend – the ‘Help’ and ‘Change’ purposes – was done well enough 82% of the time. Work to maximise compliance and enforcement was done well enough 86% of the time. A more detailed analysis of our findings is provided in the main body of this report, and summarised in a table in Appendix 1. These figures can be viewed in the context of our findings from the English regions that have been inspected to date – see the Table below.

“Northumbria Probation Trust has a reputation for high performance and our findings indicated that this was well deserved. We found a Trust with a strong culture for developing staff, led by a dynamic leadership team who understood the value of effective partnership working. Offender managers supported and challenged offenders in order to reduce their Likelihood of Reoffending and effectively managed the Risk of harm they posed to others.

“Overall, we consider this an extremely creditable set of findings.”

Scores from the English regions that have been inspected to date Scores for Northumbria
Lowest Highest Average
‘Control’ – ‘Risk of Harm to others’ work
(action to protect the public)
64% 81% 73% 81%
‘Help’ and ‘Change’ – Likelihood of Reoffending work
(individual less likely to reoffend)
62% 78% 72% 82%
‘Punish’ – Compliance and Enforcement work
(individual serves his/her sentence)
89% 85% 78% 86%

Download this press release (PDF, 318.36 kB) (PDF)

  1. This Offender Management Inspection 2 programme started in September 2009. Adult offending work is being inspected by visits to all NOMS areas and trusts over a three-year period from September 2009.
  2. The purpose of offender management has been usefully characterised as to ‘Punish, Help, Change and Control’ each individual offender, in accordance with the need of the individual case. Although our detailed inspection findings can seem rather technical for the general reader, our headline findings can be related to those ‘plain language’ purposes. We have given particular attention to the ‘Control’ purpose – the Public Protection aspect of the work – since this is where independent inspection can add the most value. Our ‘Risk of Harm to others score’ measures how well this has been done.
  3. Andy Smith can be contacted by telephone on 07771 527327 or by email (E-mail address).