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Probation offices to remain at heart of Kent communities after £1.8m upgrade

22 May 2018

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company has completed a £1.8m investment programme to replace the countyís probation offices.

The new offices are situated in town centres to maintain the local link between the probation service and those people handed a community sentence or are under supervision after release from prison. It is hoped that as well as improving the working conditions for probation officers, the new premises will encourage joint-working with partner agencies. 

A regular “one-stop-shop” for people serving community sentences in the Maidstone area under KSS CRC’s supervision has already been set up with other sites to follow.  The initiative will help people access support from different agencies involved in providing training, housing or help tackling substance misuse in one place.     

The new bases in Ashford, Chatham, Gravesend, Maidstone, Ramsgate, Sittingbourne and Tunbridge Wells replace those which KSS CRC inherited when the company was handed responsibility for supervising the region’s low and medium risk offenders in 2015.  The Ashford office replaced two smaller sites in Canterbury and Folkestone.

There are 4,500 low and medium risk offenders in Kent under KSS CRC supervision at any one time. This latest milestone comes six weeks after the company unveiled the creation of a new research unit to test, trial and evaluate innovative approaches to cutting re-offending and crime.  Part of that new unit will be based in Tunbridge Wells.   

KSS CRC chief executive officer, Suki Binning, said:

“This investment programme maintains our presence at the heart of local communities across Kent.  This will help us to preserve and strengthen the vital local links between our probation officer teams, the people under our supervision and partners from police and other local agencies who are involved in managing and rehabilitating offenders. 

“The next phase of our investment in the service is well underway and focuses on developing a research unit to test, trial and evaluate new programmes to reduce re-offending in response to trends in crime locally. 

“We are determined to provide our expert team of probation officers with the working environment, data and research they need to strengthen their hand in reducing re-offending, cutting the number of future victims of crime and improving the quality of life for communities across the region.”

 

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