A probation service team in the Black Country has been named the best in the country at reducing reoffending.
Sandwell Probation service tops a nationwide list of figures released by the Ministry of Justice. The figures look at reoffending between October 2012 and September 2013.
The latest data shows that, out of the 4,631 people dealt with by Sandwell probation team during the 12-month period 236, or 5.1 per cent, went on to reoffend. The Government had predicted that 7.2 per cent would go on to reoffend.
Head of Sandwell Probation, Jane Connelly, said: “I feel so proud that at such a difficult time of change for the probation service, our staff are still able to deliver such tremendous results. Sandwell Probation is full of dedicated people who are committed to assisting those who have offended to make positive changes that are required to improve public safety.”
Bob Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, who visited the probation team in Sandwell yesterday to congratulate them, said: “The probation service has really made a big difference and helped prevent hundreds more people becoming victims and help us save thousands of pounds.”
He said the success of had been down to the integrated offender management system established by the probation team at Wolverhampton, and used across the West Midlands.
The report also shows Wolverhampton came sixth and Dudley seventh in the government chart. In Wolverhampton 6.85 per cent reoffended and in Dudley 6.02 per cent. Walsall was 17th in the table of 174 local authorities with a rate of 7.49 per cent. All nine local authority areas in Staffordshire & West Midlands achieved better than predicted rates of re-offending.
Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation is the third best probation trust in the country at reducing re-offending, the figures showed. Neighbouring Warwickshire is currently rated as the best.