PROBATION staff in Thurrock went on a 24-hour strike against government cuts which could see close to 70% of the service sold off to private companies.
A group of Thurrock probation employees decided to join the nationwide strike against privatisation of the probation service.
A spokeswoman said: “We feel that this is being pushed through government and is not being well-thought out and with no transparency.
“The probation service are important and outsourcing services and trying to do so, so quickly without a proper trial is concerning. It is a public safety concern.
“We work hard and do well at managing offenders to make sure they do not reoffend. Offenders won’t have the right support with a privatisation of the probation service and a ‘payment by results’ system.
“If people want to support us then they should sign the petition and write to their MP.”
Medium-risk and low-risk offenders will be managed by private companies with around £450m worth of contracts being offered to private and voluntary sector organisations.
A new public sector National Probation Service will deal with more than 30,000 high-risk offenders each year.
To sign the online petition visit, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44403.