Researching Offenders across the Region

In the run up to the creation of new Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC), which are largely replacing local probation services the Research Group were commissioned by several Police & Crime Commissioners (PCC) to put together a profile of offending.

Collectively the PCCs for Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have formed the BeNCH group to better manage the transformation of probation services and at the heart of the transformation is a shared understanding of the offenders that the new CRC will be managing.

Crucial to the new service will be an understanding of reoffending.  The graph below (taken from the study) shows that across the BeNCH area the 1,000 most prolific offenders committed at least 8,009 offences (Integrated Offender Management).  What is interesting is that this group is already the subject of a comprehensive scheme to manage their behaviour. So it is the middle group the 7,000 offenders who committed at least 17,400 offences that will be the focus for the new rehabilitation company.

Repeat offending in the BeNCH group

The CRC will need to understand that offending is not evenly distributed across the BeNCH area and target resources accordingly.  Working with Community Safety Partnerships will greatly aid them in this.

What struck me about the graph below was ‘yes’ there is a high rate of offending in places like Peterborough or Luton but would we expect Cambridge to feature quite so high?

Also look at Fenland, mainly a rural district it has a much high rate of offending compared to other areas with settlements of significant size.

Percentage of LSOAs in each quintile by Local Authority district

Finally the core clients group that the new CRC will be asked to target, short sentence prisoners have a whole host of needs that will need to be addressed if targets to reduce reoffending are to be met.

Data supplied by the St Giles Trust from the Social Impact Bond project to reduce reoffending amongst short-sentence prisoners in Peterborough prison shows that:

  • 94% of had an accommodation need, and 23% were ‘sleeping rough’ on reception to prison;
  • 82% had an Education, Training and Employment (ETE) need;
  • 68% had an substance misuse (addiction) problem
  • 50% had a health need and of those with a health need: 48% had a physical health need; 59% had a mental health need;
  • 82% had a Finance, Banking and Debt (FBD) need: 53% do not have a bank account and 16% had problem debt.

All of which creates a challenge which the new Community Rehabilitation Company will be hoping to address together in partnership with the PCCs as well as with the traditional partners of the Community Safety Partnerships.