UNISON warns 10% drop in probation workforce puts public at risk

Massive reductions to the probation workforce are putting the public at risk from dangerous offenders, UNISON warned today.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice have revealed that ten percent of the probation workforce has been slashed in the last year. More than 1800 probation staff have been cut, which UNISON warns will severely limit the ability of the remaining workforce to keep the public safe.

UNISON national officer Ben Priestley said:

“Probation staff are there to ensure that the public are kept safe from potentially dangerous offenders, and this massive reduction in their workforce will make a difficult job only harder.

“These cuts mean that fewer staff will be watching ever increasing numbers of offenders, making it increasingly likely something will go wrong in the future. The government must act now, invest in a proper, proportionate probation workforce and ensure that there are enough staff to provide this vital service.”

The figures show that as of 31/12/12, the probation workforce stood at 16,524 staff, compared to 18,330 on 31/12/11.