Reoffending rates drop thanks to new Integrated Offender Management scheme in Hampshire

Daily Echo: Hampshire Constabulary are part of the new initiative Hampshire Constabulary are part of the new initiative

OFFICIALS say a pioneering scheme in Hampshire has seen a dramatic fall in reoffending rates.

Hampshire Probation Trust said the new approach to dealing with the county's most prolific offenders has seen a fall of more than 60 per cent in the last two years.

Integrated Offender Management was launched in 2011 and brings together the trust, Hampshire Constabulary, Winchester prison and local authorities in an effort to monitor those at risk of reoffending.

IOM teams work together in one place, such as a council office or police station, improving communication between agencies.

Barry Crook, chief executive of the Hampshire Probation Trust, said that of the 236 people registered on the scheme, there was a 63 per cent reduction in the number of times they were taken into custody.

He also said that there was a 73 per cent reduction in the number of offences they were arrested for and a 71 per cent reduction in the number of crimes they were charged with.

At a meeting in Winchester, Mr Crook said: “We should not be complacent about these figures, but the public can sometimes be left with the impression that nothing is being done, but this is not the case.

“No one agency on its own can make an impact on reoffending. It's about having one agreed plan for each offender with which we're working.”

The meeting also heard from Chief Superintendent Richard Roland, who said: “As a police officer I'm here to reduce crime and breaking the cycle of reoffending is one of the top ways of doing that. But I have learnt that we cannot do it on our own.”

Also present were ex-offenders who have benefited from the programme. Ben, 24, from Andover, said he was approached by the IOM team during his second spell in Winchester prison.

He is now running his own business and is soon to become a father.

He said: “Nobody from the team was just passing the buck. “Before, I was always just someone else's problem.

“The support I got was the main thing and my life has changed completely.”

The figures are a welcome boost for the trust after a recent inspectors report criticised “a lack of management oversight” in cases where child protection is a concern.

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