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New Staffordshire crime-fighting partnership praised by Justice Secretary

Jun 08, 2012

from the article by Sonya Britton iin This Is Staffordshire

On a visit to Staffordshire's new integrated crime-fighting hub, Justice Secretary Lord McNally met former offenders, victims of crime, and staff from police, probation and drug treatment agencies.

And Lord McNally was impressed at the joint working shown by the 180° Integrated Offender Management partnership, which aims to help tackle the most challenging and prolific offenders in Staffordshire in an integrated way.

The Justice Minister met teams from Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation, drug treatment agencies and other partners at a new, joint,"hub" at Stafford Police Station.

Deputy Head of Staffordshire Probation Paul Levy welcomed Lord McNally to Stafford, telling him: "We want you to see the difference 180° makes to offending behaviour.

"When we as agencies work together, we can work out which people to target now because they're causing big problems in their communities, and also who to intervene with to stop future offending."

....Inspector Matthew Derrick, police operations manager at Stafford Police Station, said: "We all want the same thing. Now we're all working in the same office, we can sit down together and discuss all the aspects of a case.

"When you get information from several different agencies, that gives you a really rich picture of offending behaviour and you can take a holistic approach. That's much more effective at cutting crime."

The Minister met two Recovery Champions from local support service R.I.O.T. (Recovery Is Out There). They mentor drug-addicted offenders across several Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust offices.

....Lord McNally then heard from a couple whose house was burgled. After the burglar had been sentenced, the couple bravely agreed to sit down and speak to him as part of Restorative Justice.

The victim said: "It was cathartic. I had been so angry, but the offender apologised, and then I could just let all that anger go. I thought I hated him, but after that, I feel sorry for him."

The Minister went on to meet offenders who have worked with Community Safety Partnerships in Staffordshire through the 180° scheme to turn their lives around. They have secured college places and got qualifications.

One man who was labeled by criminal justice agencies as a Prolific and Priority Offender and spent 14 years in prison has now had his order revoked by a court because he's made such good progress.

Read the whole article.

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