Dangerous offenders could walk streets if probation is privatised, warns Cleveland police chief

Police and Crime Comissioner Barry Coppinger pictured in York Road with (left to right) PCSO's Mark Say and Juie Dobson, Chief Inspector Steve Jermy and PCSO Yas Calvert.
Police and Crime Comissioner Barry Coppinger pictured in York Road with (left to right) PCSO's Mark Say and Juie Dobson, Chief Inspector Steve Jermy and PCSO Yas Calvert.
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CLEVELAND’S Police and Crime Commissioner is warning that dangerous offenders could walk the streets unsupervised if the Government presses ahead with plans to privatise the probation service.

Barry Coppinger and the 12 other Labour commissioners have written to the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling outlining their serious concerns over the plans to out source the majority of probation’s work. The plans will see the day-to-day management of 200,000 offenders released into the community handed over to private companies.

Mr Coppinger said: “I’m extremely concerned about the impact the proposals will have in the Cleveland area. As someone who has seen the considerable success of the Probation Service in protecting the public in the Cleveland area, I would hope that the Justice Secretary takes our concerns seriously and thinks again.”

Probation Trusts will be abolished under the plans and the management will be handed to firms including G4S and Serco.

Mr Coppinger added: “The partnership working, sharing of information and trusted relationships between criminal justice agencies and other partners which protects the public will be put at risk if these plans go ahead.”