Jobs threat in probation merger

SUFFOLK and Norfolk probation services have announced that they will merge and become a joint probation trust - with some people losing their jobs.

Anthony Bond

SUFFOLK and Norfolk probation services have announced that they will merge and become a joint probation trust - with some people losing their jobs.

The two will start operating as a joint trust from April 2010, providing probation services to both counties.

The full merger between the two organisations is expected to take up to three years. Although some jobs will be lost, the probation service says operational jobs will be protected as much as possible.

John Budd, Suffolk Probation Area chief officer said:

“I am pleased that our application to become a joint trust has been successful. Although we have already undertaken preliminary work to merge, we can now get going in earnest.

Most Read

“I would like to reassure the public that we will continue to provide excellent probation services to the offenders, courts, communities, prisons and victims of Norfolk and Suffolk. By joining forces we can take what is best from both organisations and apply it in both counties.

“In the meantime we will continue to work hard to protect the public and reduce re-offending.”

All probation boards in England and Wales must apply to become probation trusts. The boards of Norfolk and Suffolk decided they could most successfully achieve trust status by joining forces and submitting a joint application to the National Offender Management Service.

The exact shape of the merged organisation will be worked out over the next few months.