Crispin Blunt thanks justice staffTuesday, 23 August 2011
Crispin Blunt today thanked staff from across the National Offender Management Service who have been working to meet the extra demands placed on the justice system after disturbances across England a fortnight ago.
The Justice minister said:
'I'm very conscious of the hard work put in by prison, probation and escort staff during the unprecedented events of the last few weeks. Prisons have been staying open through the night as staff processed new prisoners and worked hard to make sure space was available where it was needed. Probation staff have worked very long hours providing reports to overnight and weekend courts, working with their court colleagues as they deal with extra caseloads. I want to thank all of those involved across the criminal justice system for their outstanding commitment and professionalism.'
Crispin Blunt spoke as he met probation staff overseeing offenders carrying out community payback sentences. He continued: 'I've been in Croydon today seeing tough community sentences in action, the kind of meaningful, unpaid work offenders sentenced during the recent rioting could receive in order to directly pay back for the damage they inflicted on their communities. Those involved can expect tough penalties, whether they are sentenced to prison or to community punishments. For NOMS staff the hard work of preventing those convicted by the courts from reoffending in the future has only just begun.'
Latest provisional statistics (to 12 noon 22 August) show that 1406 people have appeared in court in connection with the disturbances