Probation service for Tameside ‘Requires improvement’

The probation service, or Probation Delivery Unit (PDU*), in Tameside 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 Manchester North 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: “While leadership at Tameside PDU is strong and supportive, and staff are dedicated, this probation service is substantially under-resourced – with only half of the probation officers they need. Half of the team members we spoke told us their workloads are unmanageable. Understandably, this is having an impact on their ability to properly manage people on probation, specifically around issues such as risk of harm, which is vital for the protection of the local community and beyond.”

The Tameside probation service are a skilled and capable team, but without more staff they cannot realise their potential. The Greater Manchester region, together with the HMPPS national workforce team needs to address this urgently.

Mr Russell continued: “At the moment, all the good work that the leaders of Tameside PDU are doing is not filtering down to their work with people on probation. This will take time, but I am concerned with our findings around keeping people safe from potential harm – particularly children who may be at risk of domestic abuse – and the service must find a way to make this a priority”.

More positively, we found the service had access to local innovative projects, supported through the unique arrangements with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, to provide accommodation for people on probation, especially those with complex needs, and prevent them from becoming homeless.

Tameside PDU and the Probation Service – Greater Manchester received eight recommendations following this inspection, including the need to better manage risk of harm. Of note, two additional recommendations were made to HM Prisons and Probation Service to ensure PDU regions are sufficiently resourced with the right staff to protect the public.


Notes to editor
1. *Probation Delivery Units (PDUs) replaced Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and the National Probation Service (NPS), becoming 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 March 2023
7. For media enquiries, please contact