Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need
A multi-million pound investment in Offender Management by West Midlands Police over recent years has seen re-offending rates driven down to new lows while the number of officers dedicated to preventing criminals committing more crime has tripled.
The West Midlands is now one of the top performing areas for helping criminals break their cycle of offending and getting them to turn over a new leaf.
And with around 250 officers dedicated solely to managing offenders across the region, the force’s ability to rapidly return re-offenders to prison has dramatically increased.
The dedicated officers are also now better poised to respond to reports from drug support groups that ex-offenders have once again become dependent on drugs as identified in one of their routine screenings. Where drug use is forbidden under the terms of their conditions of release from prison, they can be immediately recalled to serve the rest of their sentence from behind bars.
Between April 2013 and March 2014 West Midlands Police investigated 174,515 crimes across the county. This is around half of the crime rates of a decade ago, with 349,938 reported offences over the same period in 2002/2003.
Here are the answers to some of the questions we regularly get asked about offender management:
Q. What is Integrated Offender Management?
A. Integrated Offender Management (IOM) is an overarching framework that allows local and partner agencies to come together to ensure that the offenders whose crimes cause most damage and harm locally are managed in a co-ordinated way.
Q. How many prolific offenders are there in the West Midlands?
A. There are approximately 7,315 offenders across the force currently being managed by our Offender Management teams.
Q. What schemes are in place to divert these offenders?
A. There are many diversionary schemes in place across the force, all of which have one aim – to reduce re-offending by identifying what makes an offender break the law. By finding out what this ‘trigger’ is, we can identify which diversionary scheme is best for the individual.
There are a number of diversionary pathways which are carried out across the West Midlands, these are:
Q. What are main aims of Offender Management?
A. Control: Preventing risk of harm and re-offending through enforcement of restrictive conditions or arrest.
Change: Supporting ex-offenders away from a life of offending through the removal of offending triggers through effective partnership interventions and to encourage change.
Q. When was the Offender Management team first set up?
A. In 2004 West Midlands Police set up teams of officers to effectively manage prolific offenders.
Q. How does the Prince’s Trust scheme help stop the offending cycle?
A. A ‘carrot and stick’ approach sees petty criminals, particularly teenagers, diverted away from offending and offered innovative alternatives to police cautions or court hearings. Many are helped to complete self-improvement courses – like the police-run Prince’s Trust Team programme - and given continued support via partner agencies and charities.
Now in its seventh year, the scheme has contributed significantly to the drop in re-offending rates across the region and has helped almost 2,000 people, aged between 16 and 25, focus on their futures. Delivered directly from police stations, it is unique to West Midlands Police and has helped transform thousands of young lives.
For more information on proven re-offending statistics, visit the Ministry of Justice website.
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