I would like to thank the Observer for the excellent coverage provided for the opening of our relaunched Chichester office.
However, I am writing to clarify some points made in your front page story on Thursday, May 26 (‘Why I rammed police station’).
While I have no doubt this was a fair and accurate report of the court hearing, a number of assertions were made to the effect this offending was a result of probation’s inability to ‘organise’ alcohol treatment for the offender, to which he had been sentenced ‘several weeks before’.
In fact that sentence had been imposed by magistrates on May 23, only 13 days before the subsequent offence took place.
Offenders sentenced to alcohol treatment must attend at least two appointments with the probation service to undertake preparatory work before such treatment can begin.
This allows us to introduce the offender to the rules and requirements of probation, formulate a supervision plan and take steps to address any other needs they may have which would affect their ability to engage.
In his case the offender had an accommodation need which we were actively helping to resolve.
Offenders with addictions are far more likely to succeed in treatment if they are in stable accommodation and receiving help for other issues which may be contributing to their lifestyle, and that is why this short period of preparatory work is very important in making the sentence work.
Offender Management Director,
West Sussex, Surrey & Sussex