Archive for June, 2007

Government Must Support Probation Service: Hermon

North Down MP, Lady Hermon, has called on the Government to give greater support and resources to the Probation Service, particularly in Northern Ireland. Speaking from Westminster, she said:

“We currently have too many prisoners for our prisons, and high rates of re-offending and reconviction. Despite this, we’re not providing necessary or adequate support to the Probation Service. Although it is staffed by skilled professionals with a wealth of experience, the Government seriously undervalues its contribution in preventing crime. If Probation Officers are unable to provide intervention in fledgling criminal lives, those lives will become full-blown criminal lives, and our society will inevitably suffer.

“Probation staff ought, for example, to be given greater flexibility on Court reports. In Northern Ireland, the Probation Service is still required to provide full pre-sentence reports on defendants, where one in six would be suitable for shorter specific sentence reports. In addition, we don’t have expedited Court reports in Northern Ireland, even though they are used regularly in England and Wales. Their introduction locally would certainly free up resources, which could usefully be deployed elsewhere.

“So, instead of releasing prisoners early and building more and more prisons, the Government would be much better advised to strengthen the Probation Service and make better use of its dedicated professionals.”

June 19th, 2007

Olympic Pool Success ‘Fantastic’ - MP

North Down’s MP, Lady Hermon, has described news of North Down Borough Council’s Olympic pool success as “fantastic news”.  Speaking from her Constituency Office earlier today she said:
“This is absolutely fantastic news for the constituency and for Northern Ireland as a whole.  I pay the warmest tribute to North Down Borough Council for its tremendous hard work, determination and skill in achieving this superb result. 

This Olympic development will have a lasting benefit for the local community, long after those participating in the 2012 Olympic Games have packed up and gone home.  Much has been made of the 2012 legacy and I am thrilled that North Down will now share a piece of the Olympic inheritance.”

June 15th, 2007