A large proportion of crime is committed by a relatively small number of people. Agencies such as the Thames Valley Police, Buckinghamshire County Council and the Probation Service work together to change the behaviour of offenders that cause the most harm to their community, through a process known as Integrated Offender Management (IOM).
Integrated Offender Management
IOM has enabled partners to identify, track and interrupt the offenders who cause the most crime, especially burglary, and has contributed significantly in its reduction.
The programme aims to allow each local area to adapt service provision to best meet the needs of local offender populations and respond to local patterns of offending.
Targeting the re-offending rate of prolific offenders has been the primary method for reducing burglary and other priority volume crimes. We have continued to invest in the IOM programme and it will remain a key area of investment going forward.
Project Evolve – Addressing the housing needs of offenders
Research has lead the Home Office and Ministry of Justice to identify stable accommodation as one of seven core needs that must be addressed to reduce the risk of reoffending amongst offenders supervised through this programme.
The need for stable accommodation is prevalent and acute for many offenders on the programme in Buckinghamshire. Providing accommodation support therefore comprises an essential component of the work done with IOM offenders by Buckinghamshire Probation Services.
On 1 May 2014, Connection Floating Support started providing support and assistance to clients who are registered on the programme in Buckinghamshire. The clients will also be at risk of losing their accommodation or will be requiring support to access suitable accommodation. The benefits to the community are:
- Offending rates are likely to drop if the client has stable accommodation
- Preventing homelessness
- Enhanced community safety
Key service elements
- To work with service users to maintain their accommodation
- To provide advice to Offender Managers regarding potential housing options for offenders (IOM only)
- Provide housing advice to those on the IOM scheme
- Support the client in accessing advice such as debt advice, and explaining tenancy responsibilities
- To help develop the independent living skills of clients
- To assist clients in accessing the appropriate benefits
- Support in filling in forms, liaising with the relevant departments, supporting the client when making benefit appeals
- Liaising with benefit departments and ensuring specialist benefit advice is obtained if the client is in custody, residential rehabilitation or hospital to ensure accommodation is retained
- Refer through to other appropriate housing interventions such as the DAAT/ Paradigm flat scheme
Some of the most prolific offenders in Bucks voluntarily wear ‘Buddi tags’ which act as tracking devices. These are monitored closely by Thames Valley Police.