'˜Lift probation workers threat immediately'

A dissident republican threat to probation workers should be lifted immediately, Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said.

Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney.
Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney.

Mr. McCartney was speaking after it emerged that Probation Service staff across the North have been told to review their security in light of the threat.

The 400 officers in Northern Ireland have been placed on high alert after the threat was issued on Thursday last.

The organisation has said the threat may be greater for those employees living in nationalist areas.

“This threat is entirely unacceptable,” Mr McCartney said. “This is a threat against staff, all of whom are social workers and over 70 per cent of whom are women.

“The Probation Service plays an important role within the justice system, particularly in terms of preventing reoffending and keeping communities safe. It also assists in the rehabilitation and re-integration of former prisoners back into a more positive role in the community.

“That is in stark contrast to the actions of the groups issuing these threats because they bring nothing but fear and misery to communities. They should withdraw it immediately and they should get off the backs of our communities once and for all.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs in the South, Mr. Simon Coveney TD, meanwhile, also condemned the threat. He said: “These sorts of threats have no place and no support on the island of Ireland today.”