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Greater Manchester Probation Area

Since April 2001, there are 42 regional Probation Services (of which Greater Manchester is the third largest) and the new National Probation Service is now entirely funded by the Home Office. Greater Manchester Probation Area is divided into nine districts, of which Tameside is one.

The Probation Service in Tameside is based on two sites; one in Ashton and one in Hyde.

Probation Areas are governed by a Probation Board whose members are drawn from the local community. The Chief Probation Officer sits on the Area Board and is also directly accountable to the Home Secretary through the National Director of Probation, Eithne Wallis.

The National Probation Service has five main aims:

  • Protecting the public.
  • Reducing re-offending.
  • Proper punishment of offenders in the community.
  • Ensuring offenders are aware of the effects of crime on both victims and the public.
  • Rehabilitation of offenders.

Probation staff work in several key areas:

  • Preparing reports for Courts.
  • Supervising offenders serving a community sentence imposed by the Courts.
  • Supervising offenders on licence after their release from prison.
  • Providing hostel accommodation for offenders for particular reasons.
  • Assessing and managing risk that offenders present.

Some statistics:

  • On any given day, the Probation Service in Greater Manchester will be supervising more than 15,000 offenders.
  • The Service’s budget for 2002/03 is £34.5 million, most of it spent on staff.
  • Greater Manchester Courts made over 9,000 new Community Orders in 2000/01.
  • Three times more offenders are supervised in the community rather than in prison.
  • The cost of a community sentence is £121 per month compared to £2,252 per month for custody.
  • Greater Manchester Probation Service provide over 15,600 reports to Courts in 2000/01, over half to Magistrates’ Court.

In Tameside, the work of the Probation Teams is governed by targets set by the National Probation Directorate in order to meet the Service aims listed above. Staff are required to work to clearly defined National Standards and the work they do to manage risk and to reduce re-offending is closely monitored and audited, both locally and nationally.

Probation staff also work closely with other agencies in Tameside, in addition to playing a key role in achieving the objectives of Tameside’s Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy. We continue to develop local initiatives, for example with housing and substance misuse agencies, to support the government’s agenda to enable social inclusion of offenders, thereby reducing future risk of re-offending.

Central to the work of Tameside Probation staff is ensuring offenders attend and complete Accredited Programmes with the aim of challenging the way they have thought and behaved in the past. We also work with offenders on Drug Treatment and Testing Orders which require a high level of commitment from offenders whose offending is closely linked to dependence on drugs. Some offenders are required by the Courts to undertake Community Service and this includes a range of schemes that are linked to improving local community safety in Tameside.

The Probation Service supervises a wide range of Orders and expects to be faced with a range of new challenges with anticipated changes in legislation as a result of both the Audit Report into Courts and the Halliday Report regarding proposed changes to sentencing. We are also increasingly involved in work alongside other agencies such as the Police, Education and Employment Services, Health Service and Social Care and Health. Multi-agency involvement ensures more effective use of what are limited resources as well as improved management of cases to ensure a balance between the five main aims of the Probation Service listed above.

Justice Seen Justice Done Video

The Greater Manchester Probation Trust and Tameside Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership have produced this video clip, to show the Community Payback scheme in action.


To find out more about Probation Services, click on the Cheshire and Greater Manchester Probation Service website at, call 0161 330 3695