There are nearly seven million 16-24 years olds in the UK; around 1 in 10 of the national population. The scale of government responses across much of the world to the Covid-19 pandemic have been unprecedented in peacetime. Extensive business and employee support schemes (such as furloughing) have prevented an economic downturn turning into a huge crisis of mass unemployment and rapidly increasing poverty.
As the COVID-19 crisis has spread, Governments across the world have responded with a variety of virus-suppressing restrictions. Our everyday lives and livelihoods have been upended. We have become locked into an all-encompassing ‘Coronaverse’.
With ‘lockdown’ firmly in place, no-one can be in doubt about Government rules. However, only recently the BBC News reported anti-social behaviour being on the increase. There will be those who always misbehave, however, daily I see groups of, I'm sure, 'normally law-abiding citizens' gathered together, playing, or simply enjoying the sunshine. This is particularly concerning given the volume of media reminders.
The Covid-19 pandemic has touched every aspect of society. It has shone a light on parts of society which tend to go unnoticed and highlighted the ways in which the disadvantaged bear the brunt of events like this. In relation to the criminal justice system, there has been a focus on the policing of lockdown laws and how to protect people in prisons. But we should not forget the impact on probation services which – in England and Wales – are responsible for supervising around 250,000 people in the community. Here, I want to highlight some of the ways in which probation services are being affected by the current situation.