Inspection of adult offending work: Hampshire working well to protect the public

Hampshire Probation Trust’s work with adults who had offended was of a high standard overall, said Liz Calderbank, Chief Inspector of Probation, publishing the report of a recent inspection of Hampshire Probation Trust.

This inspection is the fourth of six where inspectors are focusing on the quality of work with violent offenders, which forms a significant proportion of the work of any Probation Trust. The purpose of the inspection is to assess whether the sentence of the court is delivered effectively, and whether work with the individual offender protects the public, reduces the likelihood of reoffending and provides a high quality service to courts and victims. Inspectors also examine the extent to which workers engage positively with individuals, ensuring that they comply with their sentence and are able to respond constructively to the work designed to change their behaviour.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • court reports were generally good and sentencers were satisfied with the level of service they received from probation staff
  • offenders were encouraged to engage with their sentences from the outset, through timely, full and individualised inductions
  • initial assessments and plans were sound
  • a range of interventions was provided that encouraged individuals to take responsibility for their actions and to maintain a focus on their offending behaviour
  • work to manage the risk of harm posed by those who had offended was effective, with some positive outcomes achieved
  • victim liaison work was of good quality.

However, inspectors also found that:

  • greater clarity was needed about when individual cases would be reviewed and why: reviews of assessments and plans were not given high enough priority
  • more home visiting needed to take place for those who presented a high risk of harm or where there were child safeguarding concerns
  • not all risk management plans addressed the risk to specific victims, including potential victims.
Inspectors made recommendations to assist Hampshire in its continuing improvement. These included: on reviewing the risk of harm and likelihood of reoffending promptly when significant changes in circumstances or behaviour occurred; taking full account of the safety of actual and potential victims; prioritising home visiting and improving management oversight in cases where individuals posed a high risk of serious harm to others or where there were child protection concerns.
Liz Calderbank said:
“We found a high standard of work undertaken with adults who had offended. The Trust had strong strategic leadership and quality relationships with partner agencies which helped to encourage innovation. Our inspection report contains a small number of recommendations designed to promote further improvement in practice.”
Notes to editors
  1. The report is available at
  2. This inspection of adult offending work in Hampshire was undertaken as part of HMI Probation’s Inspection of Adult Offending Work programme that started in April 2013 and will cover all geographical areas in England and Wales.
  3. These inspections focus on issues not subject to other forms of external scrutiny: work to reduce the likelihood of reoffending, the management and minimisation of risk of harm to the public, delivery of the court sentence effectively and providing a service to courts and victims.
  4. For further information or to request an interview, please contact Jane Parsons in HMI Probation press office on 020 7035 2123 or 07880 787452.