Conference highlights ‘failure’ of probation privatisation

UNISON’s police and justice sector heard of the many problems caused by privatisation in the justice sector at their national conference.

Privatising the probation service in England and Wales has failed – that was the conclusion of UNISON’s police and justice conference, as delegates heard of the many problems that privatisation has already caused.

Conference heard that reports from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, the Commons public accounts committee, the National Audit Office and the Commons justice select committee show just how badly the 21 community rehabilitation companies (CRCs) and the National Probation Service (NPS) are operating.

Janet Hayes, who works in the probation service, said that “the government is using tax payers’ money to bail out the CRCs, and they spent quite a lot of money that could be used for other services.”

Members also discussed the loss of police staff jobs. Lisa Hardy said: “there is so much more to policing than police officers. Our members and communities have paid a high price with the loss of jobs, income and services.”