Probation staff strike in Stevenage town centre

Ayse Insaf, Elaine McConnell, Ian Kinsey, Lydia Gurr, Tina Bruno, Shirley Hill, May Bolton, Kelly Jo

Ayse Insaf, Elaine McConnell, Ian Kinsey, Lydia Gurr, Tina Bruno, Shirley Hill, May Bolton, Kelly Jones and Katharine Doole - Credit: Archant

Probation service trade union members went on strike today (Tuesday).

Members of the trade union for Probation and Family Court Staff (NAPO) staged a walkout at 12pm in Stevenage town centre. They will return to work at 12pm tomorrow (Wednesday).

Ian Kinsey, National Executive Committee rep for the area, said: “We don’t feel that the government are planning these changes properly. There haven’t been any pilot schemes run so there’s no way of knowing what problems may arise. They’re trying to bring about so much change without really thinking it through or even listening to the people who really know.

“Of course, companies are only going to take business that they think is going to be profitable to them. The problem is that clients that we deal with, such as those with alcohol or drug problems, we feel, do not present the kind of money-making venture these companies are probably used to and so we are worried that the ethos of investing in people’s rehabilitation is just not going to be attractive to them and not really serve among their priorities.”

The protests are a response against government plans to privatise areas of the probation service.

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Members’ concerns include the speed with which changes are being introduced and a perceived loosening of regulations under private sector control.

Members of the public are being urged to sign an online petition to help save the service. To find it visit

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