Probation work with community takes another step forward

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THE role of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland working with communities has taken a step forward after a new order was passed in the Assembly.

The (Designated Organisations) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013 means the Probation Board is now a designated organisation on the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPS) and will be participating on all PCSPs and District PCSPs (DPCSPs) across Mid-Ulster and Northern Ireland.

Area Manager for the Mid Ulster Area, Gillian Montgomery welcomed this by saying: “The Probation Board has always worked in, with and through communities in Northern Ireland working at every stage of the criminal justice process – at court, in the community, in prisons and with victims of crime. We have experience in understanding why people offend, reducing reoffending and preventing people becoming victims of crime. PBNI supervises 4,300 people on any given day, write over 10,000 reports each year for the courts and last year delivered around 190,000 hours of unpaid work through community service. On top of this we also provide £1 million in community grants annually to assist the reduction of reoffending.

We have extensive experience of partnership working with statutory, community, voluntary and private sector organisations to help reduce offending and make communities safer. We know that to be truly effective in reducing crime it takes more than any one agency. That is why we play a key role in the Public Protection Arrangements and why we are involved in the Reducing Offending in Partnership project. PCSPs continue this partnership approach along with other criminal justice organisations, communities and all those with an interest in reducing crime and protecting the public.

Probation Officers are highly skilled, qualified in social work and maintain continual professional development. Their approach to problem solving, communicating with hard to reach groups, and bringing about lasting change will be a valuable resource for PCSPs.

“PBNI looks forward to working in partnership on the Armagh, Dungannon, Cookstown and Magherafelt PCSPs”