Accessibility Options

Police Commissioner supports programme to prevent crime through early intervention in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

THE county’s new Police and Crime Commissioner, Darryl Preston is providing funding to Cambridgeshire Constabulary to enable access to online programmes to help prevent crime through early intervention.

The programmes provide people who have committed an offence with access to online support packages to help address the root causes of what makes them offend and help them turn their lives around. 

The local investment is in line with the Government’s approach, to ensure that, at the very first step of the criminal justice process there are effective, swift and evidence-led responses in place to break the cycle of crime.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary already makes use of ‘Out of Court Disposals’ as an alternative to prosecution, where offenders are provided with tailored conditions and support to help them change their behaviour rather than going to Court. This new kind of electronic intervention, provided online, allows officers to support a significantly larger number of people including those who are currently unable to access services due to a number of diverse needs.

On announcing the programme, Darryl said: “Whilst I will always support robust law enforcement, I know from experience that by focusing on early intervention, rehabilitation and tackling the root causes of someone’s offending we can prevent crime.

“We live in an age where people expect to be able to access support online. This pilot scheme will allow offenders to easily access support programmes so they can fulfil conditions placed on their rehabilitation. If they don’t meet the conditions placed on them they will go to court.

 “If we can intervene early when people first come into contact with the police there is a chance to get them back on track to help prevent future crime.”

The online programme will provide access to a range of targeted support including alcohol and substance abuse, domestic abuse, anger management and help to access education and employment.

Those referred to the programme are provided with a log in and password to their mobile phone or tablet with a set time to complete the programme in their own time and at their own pace through any smart device.

Detective Superintendent Mick Birchall, who manages the Investigations Standards Department at Cambridgeshire Constabulary added: 

“It is important that people who commit crime are brought to justice and are less likely to offend again in the future. This intervention programme will help tackle the root causes of what makes people offend and support them to make more positive choices.

“Whilst the initial use of this kind of online support has been part of the overall ‘Out of Court Disposal’ provision, we are looking to expand this into other areas. We have used electronic interventions on a limited basis and these have proved successful.”

The Commissioner added: “Partnership working is key to address the causes of offending. My office works with a range of partners across the broad range of issues that can influence people’s offending behaviour, from accommodation to employment and substance misuse.”

Each year, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner awards around £1.3m of grants to contribute to crime and disorder reduction. This pilot will be funded over a 1-year period at a cost of £26.5k.