Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs Partnership
APPG / LGiU Inquiry 2009: Justice in Communities
Safer communities funding for Herefordshire has traditionally been a small amount and the
fact that this has now been translated into LAA arrangements means that the pot for
Community Safety work continues to be small percentage of the whole and at risk of being
The fact that LAA funding is issued year on year limits the sustainability of projects and
makes ongoing investment in prevention more difficult. Need longer term funding that would
enable sustainable projects that could be relied upon to provide support over a longer period
Some projects, including the SHIFT project are funded through external funds, but these too
are time limited.
Youth v’s Adult
The YJ system tends to be an end-to-end process, that means that once a young person
enters it then several agencies, but predominantly YOT, take an interest during the whole
time they are in the system. The position for adults is that they receive assessments,
decisions & interventions at specific/key points. This means that no one has an interest in
them until it gets to "their bit" hence the view that partnership working in the CJ system isn't
as advanced as in other sectors (the YJ system for example).
The recent JYB national review of MAPP in YOT has also identified simpler issues where
MAPP, an adult concept, is misapplied by those co-coordinating MAPP (usually probation or
police) using an adult model for young people, failing to agree it doesn't quite fit & being
unable to adapt to something they aren't used to.
This said, HCSDP have consistently supported integrated working within adult services. This
is evidenced by re-structuring of CJ drugs services, which is based within the Probation
Wrap around services that deliver support for housing, recreation, training and education,
benefits advise, substance misuse and family support clearly have an impact on offenders
and their re-integration into the community.
These services are offered in Herefordshire, but are not available for all offenders, for
example the Floating Support Pilot gives priority to people who are already known to, or in
receipt of services from, the Drug Intervention Programme (DIP), the Priority Prolific Offender
(PPO) team, Probation and the Criminal Justice Intervention team.
The offer of this more holistic approach to offending behaviour would be of benefit to all
offenders, but limited funds inevitably leads to limited services.
Effectiveness of Partnership Working
Both the Police and the Probation service are committed CDRP partners acting as Chair and
vice chair respectively for the HCSDP Strategy Group. Other CJS partners have not been as
engaged historically, however recent developments around the domestic abuse agenda have
meant that the courts and the CPS have become more involved in the partnership’s work.
Leadership and Strategy
Local delivery is favoured as it enables local priorities to be met, rather than the potential one
size fits all of the national down model. The problem comes where locally criminal justice work
isn't seen a as priority and funded accordingly, which in turn leads to national frameworks
being issued. We don't want a return to justice by geography. The growth of national
structures has led to bigger areas covered more remotely, less local knowledge & therefore
less public support. Most consultations end up favouring the "Heartbeat" approach; know your
local police, court etc.
In terms of being able to deliver at a local level Offender Management is a priority for HCSDP
and is included in our current 3 years strategy. DIP, AARS, PPO, Violent Crime and Domestic
Abuse are all included within the wider offender management remit. The strategic lead for this
work is the Probation Area Manager for Herefordshire, who also sits on the HCSDP strategy
group. This enables a co-ordinated approach both at operational and strategic levels and it
would the offender management group that would co-ordinate a’ justice in the community
strategy’ should one be needed locally. Such a strategy would then be overseen at a senior
management level via the HCSDP strategy group.
There are a number of concerns around about the development of "executive justice" that's to
say where agencies are making more & more decisions without court scrutiny. The court
protects our rights & it can be a short step from wanting to solve a problem to developing
unfair & discriminatory practices with no safeguards. PPO processes can be an example of
this slippage in some cases, as courts are deliberately not informed of PPO status despite the
fact that it this status that leads decision making outside of court.
There is increasing evidence that people who have high levels of personal need are often
assisted by being able to concentrate their energy on working on the land e.g. through
woodland projects and care farm initiatives. Herefordshire have developed the SHIFT project,
which is a care farm initiative that enables offenders (including DIP and PPO clients) to
develop land-based skills. Herefordshire is a predominately rural county so the development
of rural skills and knowledge directly contribute to the chances of offenders finding gainful
Probation are looking at further developing this project across a wider number of partners
including local NFU representatives to look at broadening the employment opportunities for
The project is funded and supported by a number of partners including Probation, West
Mercia Constabulary and Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs Partnership.
There is an active community payback scheme based at the Probation Service in
Herefordshire. Offenders engaged in unpaid work that is of value to the community develop
new skills and interests that lead to an increase in employability. The Community Protection
Unit (Environment and Culture Directorate) has worked with Probation to set up a project
working with offenders to revitalise a local area.
Herefordshire Probation service is working with the Learning and Skills Council to provide
education, training and employment for offenders in Herefordshire.
Alcohol Arrest Referral Scheme (AARS)
The alcohol arrest referral scheme provides direct access for the Police to the Community
Alcohol Service (CAS). Police can refer to Community Alcohol Service as part of a Bail
Condition or as an alternative to paying a Fixed Penalty Fine. The Service provides
assessment education and brief interventions around alcohol use. It also offers the
opportunity for referral onto other services if appropriate. The service is available on
MONDAYS only and is staffed by 2 Band 6 Nurses, a Band 3 administrator and an alcohol co-
ordinator with access to police systems.
The AARS business plan has recently been confirmed by the Community Alcohol Service
(CAS) The Police are referring over 18’s, Hereford residents, providing bail conditions/ fixed
penalty notices and are providing 6 monthly audits of re offending rates.
The future of this project is currently being reviewed through a cost/benefit analysis.
PPO – Herefordshire (Update from 21st Jan 09meeting)
There are currently twenty-three multi agency Prolific and Priority Offenders identified in
Herefordshire. Following a multi agency review, a total of eight PPO’s were removed from the
There are fourteen PPO’s currently living in the community.
Six PPO’s are being supervised by the ACCLAIM project.
Five PPO’s are subject to weekly drug testing as condition of their license or order.
Five PPO’s are currently engaged in drug treatment with DASH and two with Community
Two PPO’s are attending the SHIFT care farm project.
There are six PPO’s in the community who are not subject to statutory supervision.
Three of these are receiving support and guidance from the PPO scheme on a voluntary
There are currently six PPO’s in the criminal justice system (arrest to sentence).
Drugs Conditional Cautioning Pilot
West Mercia LCJB want to see conditional cautioning appear throughout the West Mercia
area, leading to the Hereford pilot. There were 177 conditional cautions last year in West
Mercia areas, which isn’t many. Conditional cautioning needs to be straightforward and if
appropriate low-level adult offenders will be referred.
Herefordshire DIP has put together a pack for the scheme, which includes a screening tool
(giving an insight into those appropriate for conditional cautioning). Conditional Cautioning
appointments are available the first Tuesday of every month 9am – 7pm. Outside of this; the
SPOC (Single Point of Contact) number should be used to make appointments. Initially one
session will be provided from the caution, with the hope to guide offenders into relevant
service areas. Hereford DIP was ready to accommodate people from the 07/04/2009.
Floating Support Pilot
This service is available to people over the age of 18 who live in Herefordshire and are
assessed as being vulnerable or at risk of homelessness as a result of drugs misuse, alcohol
abuse or offending behaviour. Priority is given to those people who are already known to, or
in receipt of services from, the Drug Intervention Programme (DIP), the Prolific and Priority
Offender (PPO) team, Probation and the Criminal Justice Intervention team.
It is clear that people with substance misuse issues often experience difficulty in securing
tenancies and in developing the skills to enable them to maintain their tenancies when they
get them. This can occur for a variety of reasons. The main aim of this pilot project is to
explore the options available and to 'trial' a more integrated model of service delivery which
includes closer partnership working between agencies, co-location of services and a more
joined up approach to meeting the needs of individuals. The data collected throughout this
pilot scheme will be used to inform the future development of services for these client groups.
This 18-month scheme delivers housing-related support as part of a 'wrap around' service.
The support is provided alongside the clients structured treatment and/or criminal justice
intervention to ensure that wider issues, such as enabling clients to access and maintain
housing and employment, manager debt and contribute to their community in a worthwhile
manner and to reintegrate into the community.
Service commenced on 1st October 2008. At the 6-month service review meeting the
following figures were reported:
Total number of referrals to date: 96
Attended drop in (6)
Submitted - 01.05.09