Criminology, probation and stuff

Some musings on criminology with a focus on probation

Bail Accommodation and Support Service- again

with 2 comments

It looks like the Tory ministers are still going on about the (relatively) new BASS scheme which I have already written about here. There were three questions about them in parliament yesterday all of which asked, in various ways, whether there were any plans to open any bail hostels in their constituencies. The answer in all expect Crewe was ‘no’. Which is true because, as David Hanson said, they are not Bail Hostels (they don’t even exist) but they are leased private premises.

I do understand that people may have issues about the premises opening near where they live- who wants to have a house full of offenders near them? But, if you really have a serious problem with it, surely the best way to deal with it is on the government’s terms. David Hanson would have been in the right if he had simply said no, there won’t be any bail hostels. As it is, he went further and said that there wouldn’t be any BASS properties in Harwich- I hope he doesn’t have to change his mind! I can’t believe I’m standing up for a politician- it’s been a hard day, sorry!

Apparently, though, in Crewe the two premises that were opened have since closed down. I wonder why. If politicians actually had the nouse to ask that question, they may find they have some grounds for opposing them (if they were closed due to some kind of unsocial behaviour) rather than framing the whole debate in some silly flog ’em and hang ’em ‘you’re opening mini-prisons on our street’ rhetoric.


Written by criminologyandstuff

January 20, 2009 at 8:03 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hmmm. Has the debate been of the ‘flog ’em and hang ’em’ variety? Surely most of the concern has been about offenders who are more or less completely unsupervised being placed in small rented properties. It is a blight on one’s life. I should know. I live next door to a ClearSprings hostel, or ‘supported bail accommodation’ as I am supposed to call it. The local police, who are a little more forthright, call it a ‘short-term bail hostel for non-violent offenders’. I have two main concerns. The first is the sheer stress and grind of living next door to people who can scream, shout and get drunk all night because they, unlike me, do not have to get up for anything as inconvenient as a job the next morning. The second is that, although ClearSprings acts covertly, I cannot. Should I find life on the other side of a party wall from a churning collection of ‘vulnerable people’, and the Ministry of Justice puts it, I cannot put my house up for sale without declaring the situation next door. Ergo, my house is now worthless. Should I take the financial fall for a government cost-cutting scheme? I think not.

    Policians, councils and the police have all voiced concerns about ClearSprings premises on the grounds of their anti-social nature but the Ministry of Justice simply refuses to enter the debate. I have now have several missives from the Ministry lecturing me on social justice and the need for tolerance. Since I am quite sure that no one there actually has to endure bail accommodation next door to their family home, this is a clear case of some people being more equal than others.

    PS The Crewe hostels may have been closed down but I understand that ClearSprings may well try to acquire other properties in the area. Rather like herpes, the men from Rayleigh never quite go away.


    May 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm

  2. We have the same problem with a bail hostel next door us which is now run by Stonham. It would be great if we could contact you to see how you are managing with this nightmare on your doorstep. Please leave a message if your interested in making contact and i’ll leave you my contact details.




    September 1, 2011 at 10:36 am

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