Former offender turns life around after engaging with police scheme
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A programme designed to reduce reoffending rates across Nottinghamshire is making a significant impact to cut crime.
The Integrated Offender Management (IOM) scheme brings together police forces, local authorities, and the probation service to work with former prisoners to help rehabilitate and give them a second chance.
It targets prolific criminals, including domestic violence perpetrators and youth offenders, who commit a disproportionate amount of crime across the city and county.
The programme has existed in different formats for several years and produces success stories where former offenders turn their lives around.
James, whose identity has been protected, joined the scheme in August 2021, having been released from prison after serving a sentence for theft.
During his time on the IOM programme, James was not arrested and there was no suggestion that he was criminally active, despite former associates who were trying to tempt him back into a life of crime.
He was moved from his offending area as his environment and peer group could have jeopardised his willpower and motivation to stop offending, and to protect previous victims.
Whilst being managed, James’ partner suffered a miscarriage, which was a devastating time for them both.
After positively engaging with the scheme and being supported throughout, James has since gone on to pass his driving test and start a family.
Speaking to his offender manager, James said:
“I just thought I would let you know I’m doing really well. We’ve had our son and I’ve also passed my driving test too. I’m so proud of myself and I want to thank you for helping me get there.”
Integrated Offender Management is focused on neighbourhood crime, which includes domestic burglary, vehicle-related crime, theft from the person and robbery, and works to address the risk of reoffending across the crime areas causing the most harm in our communities.
The team, which is based in the city and county-wide, deals with offenders who cause the most threat, risk and harm to make significant reductions in crime and victims of crime.
In 2023, more than 70 per cent of individuals who engaged with IOM did not go on to further offend.
Pathways out of offending are provided via comprehensive support to break the cycle of reoffending and address underlying causes such as help with education, employment, housing, benefits, finances, debt, behaviour, family, and friends.
This can include courses to address decision-making processes, anger management, or drugs and alcohol dependency treatment plans.
The Department for Work and Pensions, who, alongside probation, are co-located with the IOM team, use their expertise with Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment applications to assist offenders who need additional support to navigate complex paperwork.
If offending is triggered through homelessness for instance, and therefore Universal Credit cannot be accessed without an address, measures are taken to help arrange stable accommodation.
Ultimately, however, those who do not engage with the IOM programme and continue to reoffend will be prosecuted.
The IOM team’s work also provides a key role in gathering intel through engaging with former offenders and helps increase the level of convictions by linking in with departments across the force to put people forward as suspects.
The public are further safeguarded through efforts to reduce the number of victims of crime, make the streets safer by removing offenders and prioritise police resources to target repeat and persistent offenders.
Detective Inspector Jon Kerry is the IOM team lead as part of Nottinghamshire Police’s Prevention Hub, which is a collaboration between multiple force departments responsible for developing and delivering strategies to prevent crime and disorder throughout the city and county.
“James is just one of many success stories that reflects how the IOM programme can help reform offenders, providing they are prepared to put the work in.
“Preventing repeat offending by understanding the causes that lead people to commit crime in the first place stops us from being called to the same addresses for the same issues.
“This ultimately frees up resources, reduces costs to the criminal justice system and makes all of our communities safer by decreasing victims of crime.”