Probation service for Manchester North ‘Requires improvement’

The probation service, or Probation Delivery Unit (PDU*), in Manchester North has been rated as ‘Requires improvement’ following an inspection by HM Inspectorate of Probation.

This inspection was one of three carried out in the Probation Service – Greater Manchester region recently. The other two are Tameside PDU and Wigan PDU, which both received an overall rating of ‘Requires improvement’ (also published on 25 May 2023).

Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: “Although Manchester North probation service faces significant challenges which mirror those we have seen across the country of late – we see reasons to be hopeful thanks to strong leadership at the service. They have the foundations in place to build for the future and I am optimistic that their rating of ‘Requires improvement’ will spark positive change.”

Inspectors wanted to see issues such as domestic abuse – were being properly managed. While we did find that more domestic abuse enquiries with the police were being made than in other areas, follow-up work to manage this risk was not always being completed to the expected standard.

Mr Russell continued: “Domestic abuse accounts for a high level of crime in the Greater Manchester area, and it’s reassuring that Manchester North is carrying out these vital – and sometimes life-saving – checks on people on probation. However, they need to take the next step, and use all their skills and professional curiosity to follow up and manage each case thoroughly.”

On a positive note, the inspection found that Manchester North PDU has access to an impressive range of services aimed at deterring individuals from reoffending. Additionally, we found that the service had responded to concerns that the views of people on probation were not being heard and were pleased to hear that they have begun to resolve this issue and made engagement a key priority, particularly with Black, Asian and minority ethnic people on probation.

Manchester North PDU and the Probation Service – Greater Manchester region, received nine recommendations following this inspection. This included, that appropriate activity is always undertaken following domestic abuse or safeguarding enquiries to ensure that risks are followed up and managed appropriately.


 Notes to editor

  1. *Probation Delivery Units (PDUs) replaced Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and the National Probation Service (NPS), which merged into a unified Probation Service in June 2021.
  2. This probation service sits within the Probation Service – Greater Manchester region.
  3. These reports are available at on 25 May 2023 00.01.
  4. HM Inspectorate of Probation is the independent inspector of youth offending and probation services across England and Wales.
  5. The Inspectorate uses a four-point scale: ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires improvement’ and ‘Inadequate’. The Inspectorate rates specific aspects of each service and also gives an overall rating.
  6. Fieldwork for this inspection took place in February 2023
  7. For media enquiries, please contact (E-mail address)