Service delivery - Tories moot fines

Charities have voiced concern about a suggestion by the Conservative Party that voluntary, private and state organisations that operate offender management services should be fined if they do not meet minimum standards.

Baroness Anelay, home affairs spokeswoman for the Tories, is proposing that the Offender Management Bill, which starts its Lords committee stage today, should include the option of imposing financial penalties on poorly performing providers. But organisations including youth charity Rainer and Crime Concern believe fines would work as a disincentive.

"I don't think fines are getting at what everyone wants - proper accountability and good services," said Joyce Moseley, chief executive of Rainer.

Graham Beech, director of offender and justice services at Crime Concern, said the bill shouldn't penalise providers before they are able to prove themselves.

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