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Probation officers protest over privatisation plans
10:30am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
PROBATION officers took to the street yesterday in protest against privatisation plans.
Staff from Thames Valley Probation Service, which supervises criminals, gathered in Bonn Square, Oxford, from 1pm to 2pm to take a stand against the move.
Yesterday Justice Secretary Chris Grayling announced a package of £450m in probation service contracts were up for grabs for bidders.
He insisted the reforms were necessary to bring down re-offending, saying that more than 600,000 crimes were committed last year by repeat offenders.
But Megan Ciotti, coordinator at the Thames Valley branch of National Association of Probation Officers (Napo), said: “The plans are being pushed through. The timetable is too swift and they are going to break up a probation service that has been functioning very well.”
She said the move could disrupt long-term probation plans for criminals, adding: “We don’t know who will run these services.”
Ian Lawrence, general secretary of Napo, said: “If it’s not bad enough that this government doesn’t care about jobs, professionalism and people’s livelihoods, not caring about public safety is a downright disgrace and a total failure on their part to fulfil their duty to society.”
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