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Probation officers stage 24-hour walkout over privatisation plan
7:00am Monday 4th November 2013 in Headlines
OXFORDSHIRE probation officers will go on strike tomorrow in protest at privatisation plans.
They will walk out for 24 hours from noon over proposals that private companies and charities should supervise 225,000 low and medium-risk offenders a year.
Oxford-based probation officer Bernard Morris, the Thames Valley representative of the National Association of Probation Officers, said: “This strike is to highlight the grave threat to public safety and the chaos that will follow if the Goverment’s plans are implemented.
“The plan is that people who are assessed at low and medium risk of reoffending will be managed by private contractors.
“These people are most likely to commit future serious offences.”
The strike is only the fourth staged in NAPO’s 102-year history.
In a ballot last month more than 80 per cent of those union members who voted backed industrial action.
Contingency plans are in place and probation officers will respond to emergencies.
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: “Around 600,000 offences were committed last year by those who had broken the law before, despite spending £4bn a year on prisons and probation.”
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