Belfast Telegraph

Social Workers' union rally to back threatened staff in Northern Ireland

By Michael McHugh

A rally in solidarity with probation officers threatened by dissident republicans will be held today, union leaders have said.

It will take place at lunchtime outside the Probation Board's Belfast headquarters in North Street.

Carolyn Ewart, of the NI Association of Social Workers, said: "Probation officers play a vital role in supporting offenders to transform their lives in what are often difficult transitional periods.

"Their work, which is of great value in improving our society, contrasts sharply with the callous threats made against them."

The PSNI contacted the board to advise that the threat level against some members has been raised, particularly in republican areas. Board chiefs briefed 400 members of staff. Security advice has been provided to all staff and the PSNI is to organise personal security at some sites.

NIPSA official Dooley Harte said today's rally was intended to show anger and disgust at the "disgraceful" threats.

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