TOP-PERFORMING probation officers based in Bury logged on for a 24-hour ‘Twitterthon’ to raise awareness about the good work they do.

Staff at the borough’s probation office in Castlecroft Road gained more than 300 followers on the social networking site during the initiative held in December.

Probation officers and other workers took turns updating Twitter with information about the work of probation and what they do using the account @gmptprobationPR and the hashtag #GMPT24.

Bury probation officer Justine McGill said: “We are delighted to be able to talk about the work that probation does and to engage with the public.

“We supervise offenders on licence from prison as well as offenders who are serving community sent-ences, and our statistics show that we are highly successful.

“But it is also true to say that not everyone knows how probation works, and so running activities such as the Twitterthon is a way for us to explain how we manage offenders, hold people to account for their actions and support rehabilitation.

"We strive to protect the public by reducing the amount of times that people re-offend.”

During the Twitterthon, the @gmptbrobationPR account went from having 1,698 followers to more than 2,000 and was featured on the intranet page of the National Offender Management Service.

Greater Manchester Probation Trust officers were the first to undertake a Twitterthon.

Bury is a top-performing area with 83 per cent of orders completed – above the national average. As of November this year, there were 429 offenders on community sentences in Bury, with 199 prisoners on licence and 206 offenders on Community Payback.

Nigel Elliott, assistant chief executive of the Greater Manchester Prob-ation Trust, said: “We work closely with a range of agencies, so I hope people who followed the Twitterthon got a flavour of the range of tasks we undertake.”