Sunderland probation officers strike over privatisation plans

Rep for NAPO, the probation officer's union, Mike Quinn, outside Sunderland Magistrate's Court.
Rep for NAPO, the probation officer's union, Mike Quinn, outside Sunderland Magistrate's Court.
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PROBATION officers are to strike over privatisation plans which they claim are “dangerous”.

Trade union Napo will stage a 24-hour walkout from noon on Tuesday amid fears the Government plans to privatise up to 70 per cent of the service, with firms bidding for £450million worth of contracts to supervise offenders.

It will affect 100 staff at offices in Southwick, Hendon, Pennywell, Houghton, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, a divisional headquarters in John Street and accommodation for high-risk offenders.

Mike Quinn, from Napo’s Northumbria branch, said: “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. The community of Sunderland deserve to be made aware of the dangerous plans the Coalition Government is imposing.”

Northumbria Probation Trust has said contingency plans are in place for the strike, and not all staff are taking action, with resources to be directed where they are needed.