Scheme to reduce reoffending extended across Cambridgeshire
March 30th, 2017
A new approach by Cambridgeshire Constabulary to help prevent people from reoffending is being rolled out across Cambridgeshire, following early success in Peterborough.
Funded through the Home Office’s Innovation Fund, the scheme tackles the root cause of early offending behaviour by offering conditional cautions. The conditional cautions can then help steer individuals away from criminal behaviour.
The Constabulary, in partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, has been working with HMP Peterborough and Outside Links since August 2016, to identify suitable individuals and defer their prosecutions, putting in place suitable conditions to help them to rebuild their lives.
Conditional cautions are agreed on an individual basis by a multi-agency assessment. Examples of the kind of issues where support has been made available for individuals are: housing issues, anger management, drugs or alcohol misuse, mental health, employment, education and training and support for debt management.
Outside Links provides continued support for both men and women who have resided at HMP Peterborough to help reduce the risk of reoffending, as well as the wider community.
Detective Chief Inspector Dominic Human, who is leading the project, said:
“Going through the court system can have a detrimental effect on some offenders, causing them to reoffend almost immediately after they have served their sentence. With low level crimes, this scheme enables us to support individuals away from criminal behaviour, allowing them to learn from their mistakes rather than being adversely affected for the rest of their lives by a criminal record. It also helps save money from court processes and related police time.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said: “Far too many people are reoffending so we need to put a foot in the so-called ‘revolving door’. There are often ways in which targeted support can divert individuals away from criminal behaviour. Whether it’s a housing, employment or debt issue, the right support at the right time can make a very big difference to someone’s future and prevent future victims of crime.”
Damian Evans, HMP Peterborough Director, said: “At Sodexo Justice we are committed to working with our stakeholders to reduce re-offending by promoting and facilitating innovative initiatives such as conditional cautions.
“We work with our colleagues at the Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Community Rehabilitation Company, also managed by Sodexo Justice, to run Outside Links and help offenders access the services they need as part of our conditional cautions.
“We are encouraged by the potential of the scheme to offer targeted interventions which address offenders’ needs and help to divert them from the cycle of repeated offending and imprisonment. We are pleased to be working with the Police and Crime Commissioner and are fully committed to working with local partners to prevent further crime in the community.”