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Probation Service Privatisation Protests

Friday, May 30, 2014

GMB Members In 30th May Lunchtime Protests Over Break Up And Privatisation Of Probation Service

Report earlier this month featured a litany of very poor performance in another part of the public sector by some of the firms seeking to take over the 21 new probation companies says GMB.

Members of GMB, NAPO and UNISON employed in the Probation Service are staging public protests at lunchtime today (30th May) over government’s proposals to break up the service and turn it over to profit-making private companies.

35 local Probation Trusts will be abolished next week. Staff will be transferred to either the new centralised National Probation Service or one of 21 government-owned Community Rehabilitation Companies. These government-owned companies will be sold off to the private sector later this year.

Sharon Holder, GMB National Officer said, “The pace of transforming probation services and contracting out leaves many aspects unclear and still ill informed. GMB remains concerned that this will have a direct impact on both services and staff and have yet to be properly addressed.

GMB fully support today’s protest and the campaign will undoubtedly continue until the government answer the many questions on the future of the service.

Earlier this month the Howard League for Penal Reform published a report, titled “Corporate Crime? A dossier on the failure of privatisation in the criminal justice system” featured a litany of very poor performance in another part of the public sector by some firms seeking to take over the 21 new probation companies.

It showed as follows:

  • How unlawful restraint contributed to the death of a 14-year-old boy in a secure training centre run by Serco.
  • How a Serco children's prison became the most violent jail in England and Wales, accounting for one in 15 of assaults in the entire prison system.
  • How a woman in a Sodexo prison was allegedly forced to clean her cell after miscarrying.
  • How a woman was held for five years in solitary confinement in a Sodexo prison.
  • How roads had to be dug up after a £900million GEOAmey contract involved the purchase of prison vans that were too big to get into court premises.
  • How a GEOAmey prison van embarked on a 96-mile trip to drive a prisoner 50 yards because of a lack of suitable vehicles in the vicinity.

That is why GMB plans to continue to campaign to protect the new government owned probation companies from privatisation.”


Contact: Sharon Holder, GMB national Officer on 07713 508725 or GMB Press Office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880


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