Advise, Assist, Befriend - life in the National Probation Service

or, 'Enforcement, Rehabilitation and Public Protection'. You know the drill: any views expressed here do not (necessarily) represent the views of the National Probation Service.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

If the economy begins to pick up in 2012, I like to think that my colleagues and I will have played a small part in this. Not necessarily through the economic benefits of reducing the number of victims or from assisting ex-offenders to find work, however.

No, The Enforcer fully expects to see a noticeable uptick in the sales of new television sets, thanks to the damage wrought by hundreds, if not thousands, of cups of tea (herbal, natch) flung at the screens during the broadcast of Public Enemies last week.

This was trailed earlier this week as having sought technical advice from Harry Fletcher, assistant General Secretary of Napo - well, if this was the case, I shudder to think what crazy stereotypes the producers had in the original script! I enjoyed the bits involving Eddie, the lifer, but the PO character, played by Anna Friel, was completely unrecognisable from anyone I've ever worked with. Having said that, an accurate depiction of offender management in 2012 would probably not make for very interesting television.

The public profile of probation officers is never particularly high, except when things go badly wrong. Dramas like this have an obligation to get it right, and this one failed, in the name of entertainment.

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