Probation staff to stage 24 hour walk out over privatisation plans

The probation office in Avenue Road
The probation office in Avenue Road

PROBATION staff are staging a walk out saying plans to privatise the service is “a dangerous gamble with public safety”.

The National Association of Probation Officers (Napo) has announced a 24 hour strike over the controversial plans by the Government to privatise up to 70 per cent of the Service.

The strike, due to take place on November 5, will be only the fourth time the union has taken industrial action after 84 per cent of members responding to the ballot voted in favour of action.

The union says the plans would see many serious offenders, including those guilty of domestic violence, managed by private companies.

Speaking on behalf of Napo, Mike Quinn said: “The decision to take strike action is not one taken lightly by Napo members.

“We have huge concerns about the privatisation of the Probation Service and the catastrophic consequences this could have on public safety, and feel we have no option but to strike to demonstrate our opposition to these plans.”

He added: “Communities across County Durham and Teesside deserve to be made aware of the dangerous plans the Coalition government are imposing.

“To claim that companies could improve on the performance of North East Probation Trusts, which are described by the government as ‘exceptional’, is incredible, especially in the absence of any evidence at all.

“These plans represent a dangerous gamble with public safety.”