Lobby briefing

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary, National Association of Probation Officers.

Why are you opposing the Offender Management Bill?Our main objection is that it could lead to the abolition of the National Probation Service. If that happened, information-sharing between agencies would collapse because it wouldn't be in the interests of competing agencies to share. The supervision of offenders would become more fragmented and co-operation between agencies would suffer.

Have you raised your concerns with any of the charities involved?
We have regular meetings with Paul Cavadino from Nacro. He chairs an umbrella network of more than 300 voluntary organisations involved in the provision of offender services. We want a partnership model, but one that is on a statutory basis. There are, however, one or two organisations that appear to be courting the private sector.

What are you planning for the forthcoming committee stage?
Napo has drafted 15 amendments that have gone down in Conservative, Liberal and Labour backbench names on things such as the need for professional qualifications. The key debate will be at the third reading, however, when there is likely to be opposition to the centralised or privatised model.

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