Saturday, November 11, 2006

How many people work for the UK's probation service

I was only giving Thursday's "Question Time" partial attention this week so I may have misheard something.

But I could swear I heard one of the panellists claim that 20,000 people work for the UK's probation service and they collectively oversee 14,000 "clients."  Her numbers were not challenged by the host or any of the other panellists.

Are those figures really true? Is there really more than one member of staff for each ex-prisoner "supervised"?  In the light of the recent revelations concerning the shocking lack of supervision, what on earth are they all doing with their time?


The Enforcer said...

No, those numbers are nowhere near correct! A figure I saw last week suggested that the average caseload for a probation officer was in the region of 37 offenders. The Probation Service website ( says there are around 19,000 staff in the National Probation Service (not all frontline officers, of course), and in any year around 225,000 offenders are supervised by the NPS.

Richard Brown said...

Hello, Enforcer :-)

Thanks for the numbers.

Jon Deane said...

Even without looking at the website, to think that there could only be 14,000 on probation is either massively optimistic or massively pessimistic. :-p

Richard Brown said...

Well, quite..... but, like I say, nobody picked up the woman when she quoted her statistic on the show. Further evidence, I guess, for the shocking lack of numeracy amongst our political elite.