Probation changes may see reoffending rise, say Birmingham city council

A prisoner in a cell Around 200,000 medium and low-risk offenders will be supervised by the private sector

Related Stories

Planned changes to the probation service could lead to a rise in reoffending in the West Midlands, a council report has claimed.

The government is planning an overhaul of the service in England and Wales which would see low-risk offenders supervised by the private sector.

The Birmingham City Council study shows that city reoffending rates of 6% are below the government target of 8%.

It claims that changes to the system "could lead to a rise in crime".

The report is due to be discussed by the council next week.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, who wrote the report, said he believed some offenders would not get as much supervision when they come out of jail as they do presently.

He said: "What the government is doing here is tearing up a good system that is working really well.

"This will crowd out good voluntary sector organisations which are working effectively with the probation service and the results convey that."

'Cast iron'

In the last two years, West Midlands Police has tripled the number of staff working with criminals to stop them reoffending.

Recent figures showed Dudley borough was the most successful area in England for cutting reoffending rates with Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Solihull, and Birmingham all in the top 25 best performing local authority areas.

Mr Zaffar said that success was down to a "cast iron" relationship between police, local charities, probation workers and training providers.

Under the Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) proposals, responsibility for monitoring about 200,000 medium and low-risk offenders will transfer to the private sector.

Private companies and charitable bodies successfully bidding for contracts will be paid according to their results in cutting reoffending.

However, the public probation service will continue to supervise about 50,000 high-risk individuals, including all serious violent and sexual offenders.

The MoJ said the changes were needed to tackle the high reoffending rates across England and Wales.

It said 58% of short-sentenced prisoners committed a crime within a year and half a million offences were committed each year by released prisoners.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Birmingham & Black Country

Weather

Birmingham

Min. Night 5 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    17:24: Severe delays on M6 BBC Travel BBC Travel

    There is slow traffic on the M6 southbound between J11 for Cannock and J10 for Wolverhampton because of an earlier breakdown, even though all lanes have been re-opened.

     
  2.  
    17:11: Injured duo's Saddlers return BBC Sport

    Walsall are expected to have top scorer Tom Bradshaw (hamstring) and central defender Paul Downing (thigh) back for the visit of struggling Leyton Orient.

     
  3.  
    16:54: News on the hour Charlotte Harriman Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

    Our top story at 17:00: West Midlands Police are looking for two people believed to be behind a card cloning scam to steal £30,000 worth of petrol.

    Listen live to BBC WM for more about this investigation.

     
  4.  
    16:50: Feedback Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    BBC Local Live brings news, sport, travel and weather together in one place. What do you think of it?

     
  5.  
    16:42: Children in filthiest conditions police had seen Birmingham Mail

    A Birmingham mum and dad who forced their young children to live in squalor with dirty nappies and dog and cat faeces littering the floor have been spared jail.

     
  6.  
    16:28: Blues 'should not lose points' BBC Sport

    Birmingham City have "sufficient funds" to complete the 2014-15 season and should not be deducted points, the receivers of the club's parent company have told the Football League.

    Birmingham International Holdings Limited, based in the Far East, went into receivership earlier this month.

    St Andrew's

    Blues could be deducted 10 points if the Football League decides otherwise, which could send Gary Rowett's side, currently 17th in the Championship, into the relegation zone.

     
  7.  
    16:11: Bakery reopen after mouse droppings Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    A bakery has today been allowed to reopen after a temporary closure following mouse droppings being discovered in the factory's food storage areas.

    Polish Bakery Mazowse Ltd, Bloxwich Lane Industrial Estate, Bloxwich Lane, was issued with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice requiring its immediate closure after the discovery on Wednesday.

    Walsall magistrates were told this morning its owners have worked alongside environmental health officers to address the concerns they raised.

     
  8.  
    15:56: News on the hour Charlotte Harriman Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

    A dress made in Birmingham has gone viral on the internet following a debate about its colour.

    Dress

    At 16:00 we hear from design director Michele Bastock from the Birmingham firm behind it. Listen live here.

     
  9.  
    15:40: Teenager arrested over doorstep stabbing in Dudley

    A man stabbed in the head on his doorstep in Dudley is in a stable condition in hospital, police have revealed.

    Owen Street in Kates Hill, Dudley

    A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the attack at the man's home in Owen Street in Kates Hill, Dudley, on Tuesday.

     
  10.  
    15:29: 'Goldbury' for Bingo winners Halesowen News

    Oldbury has been named the fourth luckiest town in the country according to the National Bingo Game Association, with 16 Mecca Bingo players scooping more than half a million pounds between them in 12 months.

     
  11.  
    15:12: #TheDress: Birmingham dress sparks global debate

    A debate between family and friends about whether a Birmingham-made dress is gold and white, or blue and black has become an internet sensation.

    Dress

    The online discussion over the photo of the dress shown left, and how it actually looks has been shared more than 20 million times.

    Dress-makers Roman Originals, which is based in Erdington says "It's black and blue but we're definitely looking into a white and gold version."

     
  12.  
    14:57: News on the hour Charlotte Harriman Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

    A dress made in Birmingham has become an internet sensation all because of its colour.

    People like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian are debating whether it's black and blue or gold and white.

    Apparently it's all to do with the science of how our eyes work. The dress is made by Roman Originals in Erdington.

    We will hear from Ian Johnson from the company in our bulletin at 15:00.

     
  13.  
    14:46: Wolves star cleared to play BBC Sport

    Wolves have Bakary Sako cleared to play against Cardiff after he suffered a stomach problem after scoring twice in the last match.

    Bakary Sako
     
  14.  
    14:34: 'Missing' Tipton man found Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    A man missing from Tipton has been found safe and well in Bournemouth.

    Frederick Steventon, 73, of Brookfield Way, was found yesterday after being last seen on 23 February.

     
  15.  
    14:20: Selection headache on Villa defenders Guy Mowbray BBC Match of the Day commentator

    Aston Villa's defensive options will be limited when the club travels to Newcastle.

    Captain Ron Vlaar is serving a ban for his last-minute dismissal for bringing down Stoke's Victor Moses (pictured).

    Ron Vlaar Victor Moses

    Villa's full-backs Alan Hutton and Aly Cissokho are both injury doubts, while Kieran Richardson is out with a calf problem too.

     
  16.  
    14:07: Walsall woman 'pushed from third floor of flats' Birmingham Mail

    A woman in her 20s was reportedly pushed from a third floor balcony of a Walsall block of flats this morning.

    A man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the incident at Wood House, West Bromwich Street, in the Little London district of Walsall, at 8.30am this morning.

     
  17.  
    13:55: News on the hour Charlotte Harriman Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

    A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was stabbed on his doorstep in Dudley. More details in the news at 14:00

     
  18.  
    13:40: Coming up on TV Amy Cole Reporter, Midlands Today

    A leaked report into the NHS in Staffordshire identifies a health care system in crisis facing a £270m deficit by 2018.

    Our health correspondent Michele Paduano will have more details on Midlands Today now on BBC One.

     
  19.  
    13:34: Teenager arrested for 'murder bid'

    A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was stabbed in the head on his doorstep in Dudley earlier this week, police have revealed.

    The 17-year-old boy was arrested at an address in Netherton and is in police custody.

    The 65-year-old householder was attacked just before 6.15pm in Owen Street, Kates Hill, on Tuesday, suffering serious stab wounds to his head, shoulder, chest and back.

     
  20.  
    13:25: New TV station Ben Godfrey BBC Midlands Today

    A new digital TV channel for the West Midlands will start broadcasting tomorrow.

    BIG CENTRE TV

    Big Centre TV comes almost three years after the government invited towns and cities in the UK to bid for local TV licences.

    The channel took over the licence from City TV which went bust before it even went on air. Watch my report on Midlands Today at 13:40.

     
  21.  
    13:09: 200 jobs to go in Walsall cuts Caroline Gall BBC News

    About 200 jobs will be lost at Walsall Council after £29m of spending cuts were approved.

    Some children's centres will close and council tax will go up by 1.99%.

    Walsall council offices

    But a decision to close five libraries was reversed by councillors at their 2015-16 budget meeting as the authority looks to slash £86m over the next fours years.

     
  22.  
    12:59: News on the hour Chris Blakemore News editor, BBC WM

    Walsall's much loved concrete hippo is to be restored.

    "Hoppy" has been smiling at shoppers from The Bridge in the town centre since 1972, but lately he's been looking a bit worse for wear.

    More on this story in our 13:00 headlines.

     
  23.  
    12:45: 'Murder in the making' foiled Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    After police foiled a gun attack, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Wallis said: "Thankfully, no weapon was discharged and the prompt response of our highly-trained officers prevented Jamie Webster from carrying out his attack, which was potentially a murder in the making.

    A loaded revolver was found on Sarbjit Bhamra's seat

    Webster and Sarbjit Bhamra were handed a 15-year sentence for each offence: conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life - to run concurrently. Arron Burris-Hale was handed 13 years for each crime, also to run concurrently.

     
  24.  
    12:32: Albion striker back in contention Steve Wilson BBC Match of the Day commentator

    West Bromwich Albion forward Victor Anichebe is back in full training after a groin injury and may be involved against Southampton.

    Victor Anichebe celebrates his equaliser against Chelsea at The Hawthorns

    More team news here.

     
  25.  
    12:16: How MPs boosted their earnings Express and Star

    From property to surveys and appearing on TV and radio, MPs in the West Midlands added to their £67,000 a year pay in different ways.

    Just two MPs across 19 constituencies covered by the Express & Star declared income from a second job, however, as Parliament voted against a ban on the practice.

     
  26.  
    11:56: News on the hour Rob Mayor Journalist, BBC WM

    We will have more on the breaking news about a man arrested for attempted murder after a woman was found after a fall from the third floor of a block of flats in Caldmore.

    Listen live to the news at 12:00 here.

     
  27.  
    11:52: Attempted murder arrest BREAKING NEWS

    A 52-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a woman in her 20s was found with "serious injuries" after an apparent fall from a third floor window in Walsall.

    Walsall Police tweeted they were called to the block of flats in Little London, Caldmore, this morning and the area has been cordoned off as an investigation has been launched.

     
  28.  
    11:42: Blues need to get tough BBC WM Sport

    Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett says his side needs to focus on becoming harder to beat, as their defence was key in their earlier form.

    Gary Rowett

    Blues lost just twice in 13 games after Rowett's appointment in late October, but Tuesday's defeat at Ipswich has left them now without a win in nine matches.

    He says there are no fresh injury concerns heading into tomorrow's match at home to Brentford.

     
  29.  
    11:28: Local TV to launch Andrew Dawkins BBC News

    Birmingham's new local TV channel launches tomorrow, three months after it was awarded the licence.

    Logo

    Big Centre TV will appear at 18:00 GMT on Freeview channel 8 after previous licence holder City TV went into administration before getting on air.

    Channel director Chris Perry said: "People think of local TV and they think possibly cheap they think possibly poor. I want to change those perceptions absolutely completely. I want us to be a very professional station."

     
  30.  
    11:11: Have your say Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  31.  
    10:58: News on the hour Rob Mayor Journalist, BBC WM

    A 41-year-old man has been arrested after a six-hour stand-off with police negotiators in Birmingham.

    More on this story in our 11:00 bulletin.

     
  32.  
    10:35: Arrest after stand-off via Facebook

    A man has been arrested after a stand-off following threats to emergency services as they dealt with a flood at a block of flats on Milton Street, Newtown, this morning.

    Several roads were closed while specialist negotiators from West Midlands Police were locked in talks with an occupant of the flats making "substantial threats" according to officers, since 02:17 today. At around 08:15 officers entered the premises and detained a 41-year-old man, posted police in Birmingham.

     
  33.  
    10:15: Gun plot trio jailed Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Three men have been jailed for a combined 43 years for arming themselves with a revolver for a revenge attack after a dispute in Ladywood Community Centre, according to police.

    Jamie Webster, Arron Burris-Hale and Sarbjit Bhamra were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday after being found guilty of plotting to possess a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

    From left to right: Jamie Webster, Arron Burris-Hale and Sarbjit Bhamra

    Officers caught Webster and Bhamra on 30 June 2014 within four minutes of being called to Guild Close in Ladywood after receiving reports of two men with handguns chasing a black car, a Mercedes, up the road.

     
  34.  
    09:59: News on the hour Rob Mayor Journalist, BBC WM

    The parents of an 11-year-old Birmingham boy with autism say they have been discriminated against, after they were stranded on holiday when their airline refused to let him board the flight home.

    Arshad Sherbaz and his partner Selina Begum from Ward End were told by Thomas Cook their son Mustafah needed a "fit to fly" certificate, despite warning them about his son's disability before their holiday.

    We will hear more on this story in our 10:00 news.

     
  35.  
    09:49: One-night stand blackmailer jailed Express and Star

    A man who blackmailed a married woman into giving him more than £1,000 after they had a one-night stand has been jailed for three years, fainting in the dock as he was sentenced.

     
  36.  
    09:32: Card cloning scam appeal

    Detectives investigating a fuel-card cloning scam have released CCTV footage showing two men they believe may have filled up with £30,000 of stolen petrol and diesel from forecourts across Birmingham, primarily in Washwood Heath and Erdington.

    The two suspects

    Officers have already arrested and charged a cashier suspected of duplicating the cards - and they've now issued images of two men caught on CCTV using them to buy fuel.

     
  37.  
    09:09: Standstill on the M6 Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    The normally busy M6 saw drivers walking around cars parked in traffic this morning after a crash involving an overturned lorry brought the northbound carriageway to a standstill.

    Driver walking on the carriageway

    Motorist Tom Patrick tweeted a picture of the road, with people standing waiting by their cars. He said during his delay "the only thing to have improved is the weather, I've not moved an inch since 7:09".

    Stay up to date with the latest details of the disruption here.

     
  38.  
    08:59: News on the hour Rob Mayor Journalist, BBC WM

    The MP for South Staffordshire says plans to develop a travellers site in Great Wyrley into a residential site for 14 families are a disgrace.

    We will hear more from Gavin Williamson in our 09:00 bulletin.

     
  39.  
    08:39: Police criticised over delay Birmingham Mail

    Police have still not decided if any action will be taken over claims by a former senior IRA officer that the terrorists were responsible for the murder of 21 people in the Birmingham pub bombings.

     
  40.  
    08:25: Sherwood targets Villa wins BBC Sport

    Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has targeted six wins from the remaining 12 league games to avoid relegation.

    Tim Sherwood

    "The reality has to kick in that we are in a dogfight and need points as soon as possible," said Sherwood.

    Villa have won just five games out of 26 in the league, with only Leicester below them in the table.

     
  41.  
    08:14: M6 traffic warning BBC Travel BBC Travel

    One lane is closed and there is slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J9 for Wednesbury and J10 for Wolverhampton, because of emergency repairs, drivers are warned.

    More details here.

     
  42.  
    08:03: Cold but sunny Charlie Slater Weather Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    Generally fine with plenty of sunshine, and any remaining showers soon fading away. However cloud will gradually thicken spread in from the west by dusk.

    weather

    Highs of 7C (45F).

     
  43.  
    08:00: Good morning Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    It's me in the BBC WM newsroom today bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    We'd like you to send us your views about our updates and it would be good to see your pictures too, so get in touch over email, Facebook and Twitter.

     

Features

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.