THE probation service serving the Thames Valley has been ranked 'good' by inspectors – the second highest mark available.

HM Inspectorate of Probation conducted its annual inspection of the area's Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) in autumn last year.

The CRC was rated on how well it keeps domestic abuse victims and children safe, as well as how well it supports young people leaving prison.

It was also ranked on how it shares and accesses information with the police and other agencies.

Overall, inspectors looked at 10 aspects of the CRC's work and gave an overall score of 'good'.

Chief inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: “We previously inspected Thames Valley CRC in 2018 and found the service required improvement.

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"We were concerned the CRC was not managing risks of harm effectively and there was a lack of services to help individuals move away from further offending. Managers and staff have acted on many of the recommendations from our previous inspection. The CRC is now much improved and performing well in most aspects of its work.”

The CRC is owned by MTC, an American family-owned organisation.

Its job is to supervise more than 42,000 medium and low-risk offenders from eight sites across the Thames Valley – Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

The CRC’s Through the Gate service was previously rated as requiring improvement, but is now classed as ‘Outstanding’ – the Inspectorate’s highest mark.

The CRC has also improved how it supervises people who have been sentenced to unpaid work in the community. In 2018, inspectors raised concerns about the way the service managed people who could pose a risk to the public. But now it's introduced staff training and new procedures to manage the people.