Islington probation officers go on strike in wake of plans to privatise service

Staff from the Probation Service - inlcuding Hackney - are undertaking a national 24 hour strike fro

Staff from the Probation Service - inlcuding Hackney - are undertaking a national 24 hour strike from 12pm today in protest of justice secretary Chris Grayling's plans to privatise it. Picture: Sean Dempsey - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Probation officers in Islington are manning picket lines today (November 5) in protest against government plans to privatise the service.

Workers at offices in St John Street and Holloway Road have joined their colleagues around the country in response to the plans announced by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in May.

Trade union for probation and family court staff Napo balloted for strike action in early October and say that privatisation of the service would put the public at risk.

Ian Lawrence, general secretary for Napo, said: : “These are unprecedented times for our members as they fight to save the 106-year-old Probation Service.

“They strongly believe, along with other criminal justice agencies and experts that Chris Grayling’s plans will undermine public protection and put communities at risk whilst also not providing the adequate service offenders need to turn their lives around.

“People who have committed robbery, domestic violence and other violent offences will be supervised by a fragmented private sector whose main interest will be about making profit for shareholders not protecting the public.”

The strike began at 12 noon today and staff are set to return to work at the same time tomorrow.

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