Letter: Probation service: gesture politics, reoffending, the welfare r ole

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The Independent Online
Sir: Heather Mills (16 January)states: "Of those sentenced to probation supervision [last year], 85 per cent completed the penalty without known reconviction or breaches." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Home Office Probation Statistics, England and Wales, published only last month, tells a different story. The latest statistics for probationers record a reconviction rate of 54 per cent - 28 per cent had been convicted two or more times, 14 per cent three or more and 6 per cent four or more times. Set against a detection rate of a mere 7 per cent, the reoffending rate will be horrendous.

Yours faithfully, Peter Coad Stoke Bishop, Avon 17 January