Supervision of hundreds of local offenders to be handed over to private companies

Hundreds of convicted criminals across the Tees Valley, many guilty of serious crimes including robbery, sex attacks and burglaries, could soon be supervised by G4S and Serco as the Tory-led Government privatises the Probation Service, Alex Cunningham has warned.

The Stockton North MP, who is also Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Justice Secretary, has pointed to Freedom of Information requests revealing the number of offenders currently supervised by highly trained professional probation officers that will be off-loaded to private companies.  In the Durham Tees Valley Probation Trust, that means that 7,917 offenders in the hands of the likes of G4S and Serco.

Up to now, the Government has refused to reveal how many serious and violent offenders would be put in the hands of private companies, but Labour’s Freedom of Information request has revealed the true scale of their plans in our local area.

Following today’s House of Commons debate on the future of the Probation Service, Alex said:

“You can’t take risks with public safety, yet this is precisely what the Government is doing with their reckless plans to privatise the Probation Service.  Handing over supervision for serious and violent offenders to the same companies that time and again let down the taxpayer is a recipe for disaster.

“Rushing headlong into change without supporting evidence is not a responsible choice and I was pleased to see so many Labour Party colleagues in the Chamber this evening to hold the Government to account for the risks inherent in their proposals.

“The public need to be confident that those under supervision in our communities aren’t part of some giant experiment.  But the Government is running scared – they’ve not brought their plans before Parliament, and have instead chosen to rush ahead at breakneck speed and impose their untried and untested privatisation on our communities”