A MULTI-MILLION-pound cash injection has been unveiled in a bid to curb reoffending and safeguard crime victims in Hampshire.
The £2.3million package has been shared out among a raft of community projects across the county.
Among those successfully securing funding was Southern Domestic Abuse.
It aims to support people affected by domestic abuse so that they have the strength to stop their ordeal.
The Saint’s Foundation’s Saints Connect, which works with young people to prevent them falling into a world of crime, also received a share.
And Safer New Forest’s Community Safety Partnership has funding for a mental health worker while the Footprints Project, which mentors men and women leaving prison or serving a community sentence, will now operate in Hampshire.
Hampshire Youth Offending Team, which runs a rated crime prevention scheme also benefited as did Southampton City Council’s Integrated Commissioning Unit, which runs a Drug Intervention Programme.
The money has been made available by the county’s first-ever crime commissioner Simon Hayes, who was elected on a vow to help victims and break the cycle of offending.
Mr Hayes said: “I am optimistic that a greater focus and investment in partnership-working will protect people and places by preventing crime and ensuring the experiences of victims and witnesses are acknowledged and acted upon.”
An organisation’s ability to pitch the effectiveness of their projects in fulfilling these aims was also key to accessing the funds.
Mr Hayes has also launched an “innovation grant” to stimulate new creative thinking and ideas on fighting crime.
- ON THE RIGHT PATH
IT has helped ex-cons on to the right track across parts of the West Country – and now it’s set to help Hampshire’s former prisoners stay on the straight and narrow.
After winning the backing of the crime commissioner Simon Hayes, the Footprints Project is now extending its mentoring services to the county.
The charity works closely with the probation service and resettlement departments in prisons to help men and women.
Often they have a history of regular spells behind bars, but may also suffer abuse both mentally and physically, abuse drink and drugs or suffer mental illness.
Its chief executive Jane Barkes said: “We are delighted to put our knowl-edge and experience of working with people who often have nowhere else to turn for support, to good use.
“It is especially exciting to have the support of the police and crime commissioner who is responding to the Secretary for Justice, Chris Grayling’s recommendations for transforming rehabilitation and for ‘providing offenders with a mentor as they leave custody’ to ensure that they can access the help they require.”
The project has nine years’ experience of mentoring over 850 men and women as they leave prison in Dorset and Somerset.