Justice Minister David Ford says workers displaced by last month’s bomb at the Probation Office in Crawford Square were not deflected from their work helping offenders “desist from reoffending” but merely relocated to the board’s offices in the Waterside on the morning after the attack.
“On Tuesday morning (April 28) all staff from Crawford Square immediately relocated to the probation office in Limavady Road in the city where they continued to carry out their role in courts, the community and with victims of crime,” he said.
“Probation officers in Northern Ireland are social workers who work with offenders to enable them to desist from reoffending as well as reducing harm to victims.
“They play a unique role in criminal justice and one which is valued across the community in Northern Ireland.
“I want to pay tribute to the determination and commitment that probation staff have displayed in getting on with the business of changing lives and ensuring safer communities in Northern Ireland,” the Minister added.
The Minister was responding to an Assembly Question from the Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney, who asked what impact the bomb attack outside the Probation Board offices had had on the probation service.
Mr Ford took the opportunity to again condemn those behind the attack.
“I condemn this cowardly and indiscriminate attack which has put lives at risk.
“While this incident has clearly had an impact on the service delivered by probation in the Derry area, the Probation Board has worked hard to minimise any impact on the community,” he said.
Following the attack last month dramatic video footage was released which showed that the bombers nearly blew up an innocent bypasser who had walked up the street seconds before the blast.
CCTV footage taken from the top of the street showed an individual narrowly escaping death or serious injury as they made their way up Crawford Square towards Academy Road.
The recent bomb attack was condemned by the PSNI, politicians and local church leaders.