Solving the Problem by alicejenny

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									renewal.net Solving The Problem




Dealing with Prolific &
Other Priority Offenders
(PPOs)




                                  http://www.renewal.net/
Solving the problem

Dealing with Prolific & Other Priority
Offenders (PPOs)
Summary
                 Targeting persistent or prolific offenders can go a long way to helping reduce
                  overall crime levels.
                 The Persistent Offender Scheme began in April 2003, aiming to target the most
                  prolific adult offenders. The Prolific and Other Priority Offenders (PPO) Strategy
                  built on and replaced the Persistent Offender Scheme.
                 The PPO strategy is designed to tackle both prolific offending and its roots by:
                  preventing and deterring potentially prolific offenders; catching and convicting those
                  who are already prolific offenders, and rehabilitating and resettling them back into
                  the community.
                 Initial findings from a number of local schemes suggest that in a number of cases,
                  offending behaviour has been significantly reduced.




Contents

Outline of the solution .................................................................................................................................... 3
What worked where and why? ...................................................................................................................... 4
What explains what works? ........................................................................................................................... 5
Checklist ........................................................................................................................................................ 7
Want to know more ........................................................................................................................................ 8
References .................................................................................................................................................... 8
Further Reading ............................................................................................................................................. 8




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                          Outline of the solution

Targeting persistent or   There are around one million active offenders in the general
prolific offenders can    population at any one time. Home Office research estimates that out
go a long way to          of this active criminal population, about 100,000 are persistent or
helping reduce overall    prolific offenders. Although representing only a tenth of active
crime levels.             criminals, they commit about half of all serious crime. Targeting these
                          persistent or prolific offenders can go a long way to helping reduce
                          overall crime levels.

                          The Persistent Offender (PO) Scheme
The Persistent
Offender Scheme
                          The Persistent Offender (PO) Scheme was launched in October 2002
began in April 2003,      and began in April 2003. The aim of the scheme was to target the
aiming to target the      most prolific adult offenders – those who had been convicted of six or
most prolific adult       more recordable offences in the last year – and other offenders
offenders.                identified as persistent on the basis of local police intelligence.

                          The scheme itself was widely supported, but shortly after it had
                          become operational concerns were raised by front line practitioners
                          about the numbers and types of offenders it identified. It was
                          suggested that the scheme was targeting an unmanageable number
                          of offenders, many convicted of less serious offences – principally
                          shoplifting – and therefore not priority offenders.

                          The Prolific and Other Priority Offenders (PPO) Strategy

The Prolific and Other    In September 2004, the Home Secretary launched the Prolific and
Priority Offenders        Other Priority Offenders (PPO) Strategy. This strategy built on and
Strategy built on and     replaced the PO Scheme.
replaced the Persistent
Offender Scheme.          The PPO strategy is led by Crime and Disorder Reduction
                          Partnerships (CDRPs), with schemes set up to cover every CDRP in
                          the country. The emphasis is on a multi-agency approach to tackling
                          the problem, with police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), prisons
                          and probation working together with the local criminal justice board
                          (LCJB) to catch, convict, monitor and manage these offenders in the
                          community or custody, and work towards rehabilitating them.

                          As a result, there are three strands to the PPO strategy:
                          1. Prevent and Deter – to stop people engaging in offending
                              behaviour in the first place
                          2. Catch and Convict – actively tackling those who are already
                              prolific offenders
                          3. Rehabilitate and Resettle – working with identified prolific




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                              offenders to stop their offending by offering a range of support eg
                              help with accommodation, drug treatment and help with
                              employment and education.
                          In contrast to the PO Scheme, the new PPO strategy allows local
                          areas to identify and select offenders using specific selection criteria.
                          Each CDRP is responsible for identifying their own target group of
                          PPOs, by using the National Intelligence Model and CDRP strategic
                          priorities. The general criteria for selection are as follows:

                                    The nature and volume of the crimes they are committing
                                    The nature and volume of other harm they are causing (eg
                                     as a consequence of their gang leadership or anti-social
                                     behaviour)
                                    Other local criteria, based on the impact of the individuals
                                     concerned on their local communities.
                          This should enable practitioners to identify those individuals who are
                          the most prolific offenders, the most persistently anti-social in their
                          behaviour and those who pose the greatest threat to the safety and
                          confidence of their local communities.

                          Individuals can be identified at any point in their offending cycle –
                          before arrest, while in custody or post-sentence. Therefore, joint
                          working between the Police, Probation, Youth Offending Teams
                          (YOTs) and Prisons is critical to the success of the scheme.


                          What worked where and why?
There has been no         The PPO strategy was only announced in September 2004 and as a
formal evaluation of      result there has, to date, been no formal evaluation of the success of
the success of the
                          the strategy. So there is no evidence yet to suggest whether the
PPO strategy, but
initial findings from a   strategy has been successful in achieving its Public Service
number of local           Agreement (PSA) of reducing crime by 15%, and further in high crime
schemes suggest that      areas by 2007/08 and of reducing crime and fear of crime by 2005/06.
offending behaviour
has been significantly    However, evidence does suggest that schemes, covering ‘catch and
reduced.                  convict’ and ‘rehabilitate and resettle’, have been set up in all areas of
                          England and Wales.

                          National figures show that in November 2004 there were 9,082 PPOs
                          on programmes of intervention across England and Wales. Since
                          then this has risen to 10,060 PPOs on programmes in July 2005. This
                          has been a major achievement in a very short timescale.

                          Initial findings from a number of local schemes suggest that in a
                          number of cases, offending behaviour has been significantly reduced.




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                         Critical success factors that have been mentioned include:

                                   Ensuring that there are clear established protocols set up
                                    between agencies, to exchange information and establish
                                    effective communication from the outset
                                   Adopting a strong multi-agency approach with active
                                    involvement from all agencies including the police,
                                    probation, community drugs teams, alcohol services,
                                    employment and training services, housing, CPS and the
                                    courts
                                   Holding regular joint meetings to discuss the targeting of
                                    PPOs, the progress of offenders, any operational issues
                                    etc
                                   The development of a clear critieria for inclusion on the
                                    scheme and a clear referral process
                                   Developing good communication channels to ensure that
                                    offenders and potential offenders are diverted away from
                                    crime and anti social behaviour and, where this does not
                                    occur, there is swift police action to arrest the offender
                                    and bring him or her before the courts.




                         What explains what works?
By targeting resources   The PPO strategy uses police intelligence to target the offenders who
on prolific offenders,   are responsible for the most crime, ensuring that all agencies
real benefits can be
                         concentrate their resources on these offenders. By targeting these
seen for the local
community, for the       resources intensively on these offenders, real benefits can be seen
offender and for their   for the local community, for the offenders and for their families.
families.
                         The PPO strategy is designed to tackle both prolific offending and its
                         roots by:

                                   Preventing and deterring – to stop people becoming
                                    prolific offenders

                                   Catching and convicting – tackling those who are already
                                    prolific offenders

                                   Rehabilitating and resettling – working to increase the
                                    number of offenders who stop offending by offering a
                                    range of support.




                                          -5-
One of the main aims      Prevent and Deter
of the PPO strategy is
to prevent those most     Research suggests that the active offender population is not static.
at risk of becoming       An estimated 20,000 individuals leave the pool of active offenders
prolific offenders from   every year and are replaced by another 20,000. Therefore one of the
actually doing so.        main aims of the PPO strategy is to prevent those most at risk of
                          becoming the prolific offenders of the future from doing so by,
                          diverting or deterring this group away from offending.

                          The ‘Prevent and Deter’ strand of the PPO strategy aims to stop the
                          supply of new prolific offenders by:

                                    Reducing re-offending, so that those who are already
                                     criminally active do not graduate into becoming prolific
                                     offenders and
                                    Reducing the numbers of young people who become
                                     involved in crime.
The main aim of the
Catch and Convict         Catch and Convict
strand is to prevent
PPOs from offending       The ‘Catch and Convict’ strand of the PPO strategy aims actively to
through apprehension      tackle the core pool of the most prolific offenders. The main aim is to
and conviction.           prevent PPOs from offending through apprehension and conviction.

                          By setting up a PPO scheme in every CDRP area, each local area
                          will be able, based on intelligence, to select the specific individuals
                          who are causing the most harm to their communities to be tracked by
                          the PPO scheme. Once individuals have been identified, the main
                          aim of this strand is to develop a joined up approach, so that all
                          agencies prioritise their resources on these offenders to put an end to
                          the harm which they are causing.

                          The ‘Catch and Convict’ strand of the PPO strategy reflects the need
                          for robust and proactive criminal justice processes, to ensure effective
                          investigation, charging and prosecution of PPOs. Research shows
                          that a consistent proportion of prolific offenders drop out of the pool of
                          active offenders after each conviction, so the ‘Catch and Convict’
                          strand is clearly an essential core process in ensuring a targeted
                          approach to prolific offending.
The PPO strategy also
aims to break the
                          Rehabilitate and Resettle
offending cycle by
rehabilitating and re-    The PPO strategy also aims to break the offending cycle by
settling prolific         rehabilitating and re-settling prolific offenders into productive
offenders into            lifestyles. The ‘Rehabilitate and Resettle’ strand of the strategy
productive lifestyles.    therefore aims to present PPOs with a simple choice: reform or face a
                          very swift return to the courts.

                          Reform or rehabilitation is undertaken through the management of



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offenders, whether in the community or in custody, through closer
working between all relevant agencies, and through continued post-
sentence support. Offenders will be targeted with intensive
programmes like drug treatment to help steer them away from crime,
and closely supervised to make sure they stick to them. If they do not
comply they will be fast-tracked back into the criminal justice system.




Checklist

You should:
   Consult the PPO mini site at:
    http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ppominisite01.htm
   Make sure that your local PPO scheme has established a clear
    and comprehensive data sharing protocol to ease the free
    exchange of intelligence information between the criminal justice
    service and partner agencies, particularly police, probation and
    health services
   Ensure that links have been set up with local drug treatment
    service providers to enable PPOs to have direct access to drug
    treatment facilities
   Ensure that good working relationships are established with local
    housing providers to enable PPOs to get access to appropriate
    accommodation
   Ensure that your local PPO scheme has clear criteria for
    inclusion onto the scheme and a clear referral process
   Ensure that regular joint meetings are held to discuss the
    targeting of PPOs, the progress of offenders, any operational
    issues etc.




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Want to know more

              References

              Home Office (2001) Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform,
              CM Paper 5326, London: Home Office.

              Home Office (2004) Prolific and Other Priority Offender Strategy:
              Initial Guidance: Catch and Convict Framework, London: Home
              Office.

              Home Office (2004) Prolific and Other Priority Offender Strategy:
              Guidance Paper 3: Prevent and Deter, London: Home Office.

              Home Office (2004) Prolific and Other Priority Offender Strategy:
              Supplementary Guidance: Rehabilitate and Resettle Framework,
              London: Home Office.

              Home Office (2004) Joint Inspection Report into Persistent and
              Prolific Offenders, London: Home Office.




              Further Reading
              Other websites:

              Crime Reduction Website
              http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/cpindex.htm
              The Prolific and other Priority Offender Strategy Mini-Site
              http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ppominisite01.htm




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