PROBATION officers took to the street in September, 2013, in protest against privatisation plans.

Staff from Thames Valley Probation Service, which supervises criminals, gathered in Oxford's Bonn Square to take a stand against the move.

The then Justice Secretary Chris Grayling had just announced a package of £450m in probation service contracts were up for grabs for bidders.

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He insisted the reforms were necessary to bring down re-offending, saying that more than 600,000 crimes were committed last year by repeat offenders.

But Megan Ciotti, coordinator at the Thames Valley branch of National Association of Probation Officers (Napo), said: “The plans are being pushed through.

The timetable is too swift and they are going to break up a probation service that has been functioning very well.”