8 Ways rolls out across ForcePhotograph of a police radio

01/02/2013

A scheme which aims to reduce re-offending and cut crime is now live across North Wales.

 

The ‘8Ways – Change your Life’ initiative is an Integrated Offender Management (IOM) approach which targets those offenders who commit most crime within communities across North Wales, which started as a 12 month pilot covering Conwy and Denbighshire last year.

 

‘8Ways’ is a joint initiative between North Wales Police and Wales Probation who, through the scheme, work in conjunction with other statutory and voluntary agencies in focusing on individuals and tackling their offending behaviour.

 

Its target group is prolific offenders, particularly those who have committed offences of acquisitive crime and who have received sentences of less than 12 months.  

It aims to address offending by this cohort of offenders through intensive programmes of rehabilitation and enforcement action.

 

The team work with offenders who are at high risk of re-offending to support changes in offender behaviour and remove the issues which can influence their offending. This support can range from assistance in finding accommodation, obtaining training and employment, through to treatment for substance misuse. If offenders commit further crimes, they will be swiftly caught and brought to justice.

 

Sergeant Jonny Hill from North Wales Police said: “The term ‘8Ways’ refers to the eight categories where help can be provided and these are drugs, alcohol, accommodation, children and families, Finance benefit and debt, mental and physical health, attitudes thinking and behaviour and education training and employment.

 

“A team of police officers work in partnership with staff from Wales Probation, Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol workers to look at the underlying causes affecting offenders’ behaviour and work with them to help address their issues”.

 

He added: “Without help to break the cycle of crime, many offenders spend large parts of their lives revolving around the criminal justice system, causing harm to themselves, their families and their communities as well as costing the taxpayer huge amounts of money.Wales Probation logo

 

“8Ways aims to break that cycle. Our aim is to work together to reduce re-offending and cut crime, tackle social exclusion of offenders and their families, improve services such as education and health for offenders and get to the root of their offending.”

 

The pilot scheme has returned some significant results for the team, including fewer arrests, fewer crimes and a reduction in the overall cost of crime.

 

The project is now live across North Wales with teams working out of Bangor, Colwyn Bay, Flint and Wrexham.

 

Sgt Hill added: “Engaging with the ‘8Ways’ project is about helping to change people’s lives for the better. The project will also benefit the community, firstly by addressing those who persistently cause problems within the community and secondly, help reduce the cost of this offending which in turn has an impact on public spending.”

 

Hannah Griffith is the Team Manager for the Wales Probation element of the IOM scheme for the counties of Gwynedd, Ynys Môn, Conwy and Denbighshire.  She said: “Initial developmental work on IOM took place in Wrexham, Flint, Gwynedd and Ynys Môn prior to the launch of the ‘8 Ways.’ The North Wales IOM scheme enables Wales Probation staff to work alongside North Wales Police colleagues in jointly managing the offenders in our communities who present the highest risk of offending and warrant intensive engagement. 

 

“Probation and police officers are co-located in offices across North Wales and meet regularly with key partner agencies to assess, share intelligence and co-ordinate our resources to deliver an intensive case management approach to respond to the risks and needs of an individual. 

 

“The IOM scheme also provides the opportunity for us to work with non-statutory cases such as individuals who serve short prison sentences who often present a high risk of re-offending but would not otherwise be subject to supervision, monitoring and support.”

 

Further information is available via the Probation Wales website

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