More than 300 people killed by CRC-monitored offenders since 2014, figures show

More than 300 people have been killed by offenders being monitored by part-privatised probation firms in the last six years, according to new data.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the Daily Mirror newspaper found that 309 people have been murdered by offenders subject to the supervision of privatised companies since 2014.

This is 58% higher than the number killed by those managed by the National Probation Service (NPS) in the same period, which stands at 196.

According to the newspaper, 138 people were killed by monitored offenders last year – and more than half of them (84) were murdered by those under the watch of community rehabilitation companies (CRCs).

The probation sector was overhauled six years ago by the then-justice secretary Chris Grayling with the introduction of CRCs, despite opposition from probation workers.

At the time, he said the changes would “redouble” efforts to bring down re-offending and stop people from becoming victims of crime.

The family of Conner Marshall, 18, have criticised the privatisation of probation services after he was beaten to death by a criminal being supervised in the community.

Mr Marshall was killed at a holiday caravan park in Porthcawl in 2015 after being mistaken for a love rival by David Braddon who had a history of violence and had been recently convicted of two drugs offences and assaulting a police officer.

During his ruling at Mr Marshall’s inquest in January this year, assistant coroner Nadim Bashir criticised the “woefully inadequate” support given to the inexperienced probation worker supervising Braddon.

He concluded the cause of Mr Marshall’s death was unlawful killing, and identified major failings in probation services at the privately-run Wales Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), including staffing and workloads.

The coroner said Mr Marshall’s murder could not have been predicted, and he could not draw a direct link between the failings in probation services and the death.

After the hearing, Mr Marshall’s mother Nadine Marshall said: “The coroner’s findings have vindicated what we have always known to be true. That the supervision of David Braddon was not robust and the management system of Wales CRC was inadequate.

An Old Bailey jury who convicted Reece Dempster, 23, of the “sexual or sadistic” murder of 89-year-old Dorothy Woolmer later heard he had two previous convictions for burglary in the area, and breached a suspended sentence at the time of the killing.

Prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC also said Dempster was not on a curfew or a tag at the time.

The court heard Dempster broke into widowed Mrs Woolmer’s home in Tottenham, north London, on August 2019 while she was asleep and attacked her.

He violated her body and inflicted brutal injuries upon her.

Dempster was sentenced last month to a minimum term of 34 years in prison.

It was announced in 2019 that supervision of all offenders on probation was to be put back in the public sector, reversing the changes made by Mr Grayling.

All offenders are due to be monitored by the NPS from December this year.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “We are bringing all offender management back under the National Probation Service – which the independent inspectorate says is good at protecting the public – and have 800 new probation officers in training.

“Less than 0.5% of offenders on probation are convicted of a serious further offence, but each one is taken extremely seriously and investigated fully.”

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