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Politicians and union unite in protest against threat to Probation staff

Workers protest in north Belfast after threats were issued against staff employed by PBNI. Picture by Hugh Russell.

Politicians and union members have united in protest against an ongoing threat to staff working for the Probation Board from a dissident republican group.

The threat issued last week remains in place, despite efforts at mediation to have it lifted.

Probation staff, who are mainly trained social workers, were warned that workers living in republican areas such as Derry and north and west Belfast were under increased threat.

NIPSA have said its members should no longer have to work with offenders linked to the republican group who issued the threat until it is lifted.

It is not the first time that probation staff have been targeted.

In 2015 dissident republicans bombed the Probation Service office in Derry.

The viable device left at the door of the Crawford Square square office exploded causing extensive damage.

Among those taking part in yesterday's protest was Alliance Party MLA and former Justice Minister David Ford.

"This rally saw those from politics, unions, social workers and others stand shoulder to shoulder with the PBNI workers to utterly condemn these threats," Mr Ford said.

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