NEWS the probation sector is to be renationalised has been welcomed by West Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.

The service was part-privatised five years ago by the then Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

But Mr Burns-Williamson said he remained cautious over the private sector maintaining delivery of interventions and unpaid work which could contribute to the same issues that led to the current U-turn.

“I welcome this development overall because it is clear that this experiment with such a crucial service has by and large failed,” he said.

“At the very first meeting of PCCs in London we met with Chris Grayling, prior to the Probation Service splitting, about the creation of Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and told him at the meeting not to do it.

“He ignored our concerns and the bottom line is all this could have been avoided and the £500million that has been spent already on trying to rescue this situation could have been saved. I am pleased it is being brought back under one service But remain disappointed interventions and unpaid work supervision is to remain in the private sector.”