UK Justice Policy Review

Disabled left waiting up to six months for their benefits

MPs have called for penalties to be invoked against  Atos Healthcare and Capital Business Services for their delays in assessing disabled and sick people's entitlements to Personal Independence Payments (PIPs).

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee cited figures showing that 'of the 229,700 claims made up until December 2013 decisions had been made in fewer than 20 per cent of cases'.   The private contractors carry out face-to-face interviews with claimants, which has led to the delays.

Chair of the Committee, Dame Anne Begg, said:

The great criminal justice contracts monopoly

'Government spends £187 billion on goods and services with third parties each year, around half of which is estimated to be on contracted out services'. So claims a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), published last week, on the contracting out of public services to the private sector.

'Estimated' is the operative word here, for a cloak of secrecy shrouds government contracts. As the PAC notes in its report:

What's going on with the crime rate?

There has been a lot of discussion over recent months about the ongoing decline in the official crime rate. Yesterday's data from the Office for National Statistics suggested crime had fallen by 10 per cent during the last year.

What's going on?

The UK Justice Policy Review team is tracking crime trends across the United Kingdom as part of its annual reports. You can download the first two editions by clicking the links on the right hand side of the page.

UK Justice Policy Review: Volume 3

The third in an annual series by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, supported by the Hadley Trust, tracking year-on-year developments in criminal justice and social welfare across the UK. Combining analysis of the main developments with key data on issues such as spending, staffing and the numbers going through the criminal justice system, UK Justice Policy Review offers an accessible overview of UK-wide developments.

G4S may still be prosecuted

Troubled security company G4S may still face criminal prosecution over its alleged overcharging on electronic monitoring and prisoner escort contracts, The Guardian reports.

G4S and Serco are currently banned from bidding for contracts to run probation services in England and Wales. The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling reportedly said yesterday that he saw this as an opportunity to promote innovation.

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