On 28th May Channel 4 aired the programme 24 Hours in Police Custody. In the programme the identity of an offender was disclosed as Joanne McCarthy, formerly known as Joanne McGovern and said that she was a former Probation Officer. This statement is untrue. Joanne McCarthy was in fact a former social worker who worked within the Youth Justice Team. In 2013 she was struck off due to an inappropriate relationship with a client.
Napo has been made aware that as a result of the programme, members in Luton and The Four Shires Branch have received a backlash via Twitter as well as reputational damage to the NPS and the role of the probation officer. Napo has taken direct action to ensure that this story is corrected in all publications.
The Mirror has now amended its editorial, Bedfordshire Police are in contact with Napo to correct their twitter feed and we are awaiting a response from Channel 4. Although efforts have been made to contact HMPPS to get a statement issued, as yet we have had no response but will continue to pressure them.
Napo believes it is vital for us to stand up for professional standards and we will continue to do so. It is also important that HMPPS as an employer supports its staff.
If you wish to report any further issues then please contact Napo - firstname.lastname@example.org