Uploaded to IDeA Knowledge 06/05

Rochdale Borough Council
Targeted Offenders Project ‘Concentrating finite resources on a limited number of significant offenders’ Executive summary
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Rochdale recognised that a relatively small number of offenders were responsible for a disproportionate number offences in its area, and therefore, set up a Targeted Offenders Project in 2004. The scheme uses a ‘carrot and stick’ approach, and offers rehabilitation and resettlement programmes to offenders. Its success relies on all agencies working together. Key challenges ensure that there is effective communication across services and protocols for information exchange as well as planning for the future sustainability of the project.

Context
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Rochdale is situated in the North West, in the Greater Manchester conurbation area with a population of approximately 208,950. The borough is the third most deprived in the Greater Manchester region and the 31st within England. It has a diverse population with 11 per cent from a Black or Minority Ethnic group, of which 72 per cent are Pakistani in origin and 11 per cent are Bangladeshi. There are also comparatively high proportions of both young people and elderly people within the borough. Following the introduction of the ‘Narrowing the Justice Gap’ programme in 2002, it was recognised that a relatively small number of offenders were responsible for a disproportionate number of offences. As a result, a key element of Rochdale’s strategy was aimed at tackling persistent offenders.

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Project implementation
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Rochdale set up a Targeted Offenders Project in January 2004 with the aim of: concentrating finite resources on a limited number of significant offenders controlling and changing behaviour of persistent offenders reducing crime reducing re-offending developing a rapid and effective partnership intervention quickly addressing non-compliance and re-offending

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The scheme adopts a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to rehabilitate and resettle, by offering a range of supportive interventions to stop re-offending eg, basic skills, drug and alcohol treatment, accommodation and addressing other factors through group-work programmes, which are run by the Probation Service, such as ‘Think First’. There is also a strong enforcement element, which includes: proactive and robust policing; visits to the

home; disruption activities1; intelligence; satellite tracking; and joint police; and probation supervision. ‘Reform or face a swift return to court or prison’ is the message.
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The project has the support of a project manager, two probation officers, an administration officer and a police liaison officer. The prolific offenders are on a database, once they meet the national criteria for offending behaviour. A local matrix has been drawn up, which is then applied to all the persistent offenders on the database. The local matrix gives each persistent offender a score. The higher the score, the higher priority that offender is given. The local matrix is designed, so that local priorities, such as burglary and violent crime, can be weighted over other crimes. The project currently has steering groups that are focused on the implementation of the project. It is envisaged that a case-conferencing style meeting will be run alongside the project. This meeting will link into current relevant structures ie, the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership and the tasking and coordinating group. The project, which is focussed on localities, links closely with the work of the Youth Offending Team in relation to the young prolific offenders scheme. This means that each of the townships of the borough have access to the project and can work on local solutions. The project has secured funding to March 2006, and the continuation will be dependent on the scheme’s success. Performance of the scheme is monitored on a local database and monthly data is also submitted to the Government Office North West as part of the performance management arrangements for implementation of the Prolific and Priority Offenders Strategy. Initial findings show that in the majority of cases, offending behaviour has been significantly reduced. Key outcomes have been: safer communities reduced offending fewer victims of crime public reassurance and reduction in fear of crime increased confidence in the criminal justice system

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Key agencies involved in establishing the project included: the police; probation; the Community Safety Unit; and the Drug and Alcohol Action Team, with support from other local agencies. Setting up the project was relatively problem-free, due to the cooperation of the agencies involved.

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This includes home visits, both announced and unannounced, targeting by patrol officers for stop/search, surveillance etc.

Critical success factors looking at an established scheme and ensuring that police and probation managers fully understand the aims of the scheme and resource the team accordingly establishing protocols between agencies, to exchange information and establish effective communication from the outset a multi-agency approach with active involvement from all agencies. This includes the police, probation, the Community Drugs Team, alcohol services, employment and training, housing, the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts clearly agreed protocols for exchange of information regular joint meetings, to discuss targeting, progress of offenders, operational issues etc. An effective approach to tackling prolific offenders requires concerted action by all agencies in the criminal justice system, while working in partnership with local authorities and health providers the courts are important to this scheme and appropriate sentencing practice needs to be in place What are the barriers and challenges? there is a need to develop closer links with HM Prisons, to comply with recent guidance from the National Offender Management Service. This includes: continuity and consistency in the management of offenders through the prison system and their subsequent release into the community and through introduction of case management units within probation improvement of existing links with police crime analysts and proactive police units development of links with the Drug Intervention Programme – formerly the CJIP, the Youth Offending Team and the new Criminal Justice Act 2003, in reference to the new sentencing arrangements ensure that the scheme complements other local initiatives and is central to crime reduction strategies within the Safer Communities Partnership ensure that the sustainability of the scheme, in particular, continued support from other agencies such as the Alcohol and Drug Service and the Community Drug Team What has been learnt from the experience of delivering the project? the need for timely data and intelligence and information-sharing between agencies effective multi-agency links and partnership intervention a shared understanding of the aims of the scheme, in particular, between agencies, the CPS and the courts addressing non-compliance and re-offending speedily reduction in offending behaviour and in the number of victims effective rehabilitation and drugs and alcohol treatment confidence in the criminal justice system Do’s and don’ts Do ensure that there are dedicated police and probation staff from the outset and a dedicated police analyst, to support intelligence gathering and identify offending or unacceptable behaviour quickly

enable managers of the main agencies to meet regularly, to resolve problems and improve quality of interventions have regular reviews of progress of offenders and joint preparation of agency plans identify and address criminogenic factors and needs of individual offenders have speedy enforcement set up targeting and assessment processes, which identify the right offenders have a proactive police unit, to respond quickly to offending behaviour ensure that accommodation, when on release from custody, can be accessed quickly and easily set up joint police and probation contacts for offenders, throughout their involvement with the scheme Don’t underestimate the need for all criminal justice agencies, to understand and share the aims of the scheme and provide the necessary support, particularly CPS and the courts accept unsuitable offenders on the scheme, to boost numbers compromise on staffing the scheme properly Key contacts Inspector Chris Ready. Tel: 0161 856 8643 Peter Carter, Greater Manchester Probation Service. Tel: 01706 653411 – TOPS section Ian Halliday, Community Safety Unit. Tel: 01706 864694 Claire Hodgson, Project Implementation Officer, Drugs and Alcohol Action Team. Tel: 01706 864854 Links to other local authorities’ work
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In Newcastle under Lyme, a community-based initiative targets persistent offenders, who frequently have drug problems and commit crime, to support their drug habit. After careful selection, offenders are offered a place on the programme from six to 12 months. During this time they receive fast access to services and support from local agencies and organisations. Alongside the support, swift action and penalties are imposed for any nonattendance or non-compliance with the programme. Support is offered in the form of increased contact meetings with probation, drug rehabilitation and addiction counselling; help in finding appropriate accommodation; careers advice and training; and help in developing strategies to live crime free lives. Further information is available from: http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/eurocpaward6.htm In Stoke on Trent, the Targeted Policing Initiative aims to enable offenders, who are normally regarded as difficult to work with – on a constructive and socially inclusive basis, to opt for positive change if, they are prepared to make the commitment and stop offending. If not, they run the risk of detection at a much earlier stage than they have previously experienced, hence, the prevention of further crime. This project is an important development in partnership work involving the police and probation staff in the effective management of persistent or prolific offenders. This approach relies upon mutual trust and commitment from agencies and offenders alike. Further information is available from: http://www.stafforfdshire.police.uk/targetedpolicinginitiative.pdf

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Case study written and researched for the IDeA by: LCS Ltd
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