Saturday, September 08, 2012

New Kid

A recent recruit to the team, (who shall hereinafter be referred to as Bystander T) writes:-

(He or she knows a lot about magistrates and their courts, and has done so for three decades. Whether he or she is, has been, or might become a Judicial Office Holder is of no concern to the Team, so we didn't ask).

At a recent meeting with probation staff, the point was made by one of the probation officers, that having had a series of cuts they were currently in a position to handle the level of work being required of them.  However, there is no spare capacity nor is there any flexibility available to address urgent or unplanned issues.  What that means is that when there is any illness or any issue that takes a staff member away from their front lime duties, there is no reserve group or capacity to take up the slack.  The work simply won't get done. 

It is a tragedy that the cuts have been so deep that no slack remains and when the unexpected occurs, very little can be expected of the probation service.  Such a pity in a service which has consistently maintained the confidence of the judiciary. 


  1. Traditionally, the Probation Service placed great emphasis on maintaining the confidence of the judiciary and, in particular, the Magistrates. (Magistrates Courts sentence people mainly to either fines or community sentences - imprisonment being the exception).

    It is unfortunate that the cuts have led to inability to always guarantee that the alternative to imprisonment actually works.

    It was always going to be problematic to want fewer short term sentences of imprisonment and greater use of community sentences at the same time as trimming the service to the bone.

    This is Clarke's legacy to "justice" along with slashing civil legal aid and allowing fines to build up until something like £600 million was outstanding as of March this year !! (The Commons Accounts Committee was scathing about this).

  2. This has been the story in industry for a long time. I'm just wrapping up a two-week holiday (the first time I've had one that long in 30 years), and the things that need me to do them are simply waiting till I get back. Granted, none of them have to do with the public safety.

  3. We've already seen the same thing happen in the NHS - no spare beds or nursing staff to cope with a major flu epidemic, the police - insufficient officers to deal with major public order problems, education - insufficient teachers to staff every class, so bring in the assistants to hold the fort, - not enough Border Agency staff to protect our borders, closing of Coastguard Stations around the country. The list seemingly is endless. So is the hypocrisy of then blaming the remaining staff for not delivering.

  4. For slack read fat.

  5. Maybe this will be remembered when next credit is made available to all? I MAINLY bleat about economic issues, despite my legal qualification

    When I saw the plane go into WTC tower, I knew what was coming was bad. PNAC (Project for New American Century) had sought a new Pearl Harbor, as they spell it, so this was all planned due to the Depression started in USA in 1999. I decided to try to start a new career in Australia. The country, sorry, continent, with least need for imports.

    Europe went insane, apart from Germany, with interest rates tailored for a united Germany paying for 25 million on the dole, from East Germany. So did they institute cuts and resist the effect of credit boom......

    So things are rosy now! Wait a few years and look again as it deepens and deepens and even those whose job it is to pretend to inform you admit that it is a depression, maybe....

    In court, a defendant more so, but not always, than a plaintiff, will lie as much as required to get what they want. In what passes for real life, everyone lies, including the "disinterested" Government!

    Bitter and twisted? Sure. You will be too, soon!


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