Probation officers vote to take strike action over sell-off

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Probation officers in South Yorkshire have voted to go on strike over the Government’s plans to sell off part of the service.

Probation union Napo balloted its members and 84.4 per cent voted in favour of taking strike action.

It is only the third time in 101 years that probation officers have voted to strike.

They are angry at the Government’s proposals to sell off part of the service and give contracts to private companies and charities, which they say will put the public at risk and see an increase in offending.

Ian Lawrence, Napo’s General Secretary, said: “We now have a mandate for industrial action that we shall be pursuing with vigour but as always Napo will be seeking to avoid this if possible by way of further negotiations with Ministers. “

He added: “However, our members have sent a clear message to the Government that they will not tolerate the shameless privatisation of the probation service and the serious consequences this will have on communities, offenders, victims and staff.”

Earlier this year South Yorkshire probation officers staged a demonstration against the plans.

No date has yet been fixed for strike action.