Criminals freed at a cost
APROBATION officer’s lot is not a happy one. Supervising offenders in the community is never going to be an easy job. Now new figures suggest that something is going badly wrong. In the past two years no fewer than 1,000 serious offences, many of a sexual or violent nature, have been committed by those freed on probation.
The fact is that too many criminals are being let out of jail to ease overcrowding, whether it be on probation or as part of an early release scheme. Meanwhile, the courts are increasingly unwilling or unable to impose custodial sentences.
The blame lies not with the probation service but with the Government’s tireless attempts to massage crime figures and avoid building more jails. And who pays the price? The victims first and then society itself.