Probation workers set to strike

Breaking News
Breaking News

Probation workers in Calderdale plan to walk out at noon on March 31 until midnight April 1.

Napo, the Trade Union for Probation and Family Court staff, are still in a formal dispute over the government plans to privatise 70 per cent of the probation service which they say will have a significant impact on public safety and public protection.

This is the union’s fifth strike in its 103 year history and the second in relation to this issue.

Ian Lawrence, general secretary of Napo, said: “The government plans to outsource 70 per cent of the probation service is untried and untested.

“It is a dangerous social experiment that we believe will lead to a reduction in rehabilitation and fragment risk management placing the public at risk.”

The union’s campaign to fight these proposals has seen support from a number of other agencies such as the Howard League for Penal Reform, Penal Reform Trusts, academics and professionals across the justice sector. The Justice Alliance, representing solicitors and law firms across the country will also join the strike.

They are campaigning against the government’s cuts to legal aid.

Nicola Hill, president of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association said: “What’s happening to probation and criminal legal aid belongs to the same sorry story.

“That’s why criminal defence solicitors are standing by colleagues in probation.

“As the government dismantles the criminal justice system, risks are being taken which threaten public safety and the right to a fair defence. The MOJ is taking a gamble on outsourcing the supervision of the most persistent offenders on release from short-term prison sentences. “Meanwhile as the Justice Secretary scrimps on legal aid, the risk of the innocent going to jail is set to become a nightmarish reality.

“Miscarriages of justice for ordinary people will increase because they can’t get a decent lawyer.”