One-stop shop to reduce reoffending
A new one-stop shop has been opened that provides a range of support services to stop those on probation from returning to a life of crime and to help get their lives back on track.
A new one-stop shop has been opened that provides a range of support services to stop those on probation from returning to a life of crime and to help get their lives back on track. It is open to those currently subject to community or suspended sentence orders and licences who can access free advice, information and support from a range of local services all under one roof. The joint initiative in Surrey is being funded by the police and crime commissioner (PCC) with support from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC) and a number of local partner agencies. This is exactly the kind of scheme that can support those who may have recently been through the criminal justice system and are trying to get their lives back on track, said Surrey PCC David Munro. If it can help stop them drifting back into crime then the communities in which they live will also benefit. I was impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of those service providers I met who are really trying to make a difference and help some of those who have previously offended to make a fresh start. Often the needs of people on probation can be very complex so I hope giving users the access to a number of different services can help turn them away from committing crime. The one-stop shop will help with issues such as accommodation, health, drug and alcohol use and employment. It is being held at the Guildford Probation Office once a month and agencies taking part include Voluntary Action South West Surrey, National Careers Service, KSS CRC Education Training and Employment, Transform Housing, Catalyst, the Armed Forces Charity (SSAFA), Job Centre Plus, User Voice, Womens Support Centre and Family Support Programme. Cynthia Allen, director of operations for KSS CRC, said: We have had a very positive response to the one-stop shop from service users and we are grateful to Surreys PCC David Munro for his support. Many of our service users face complex problems, which underpin their offending, such as homelessness, drug addiction or mental health issues. By supporting them to overcome these problems, we can help them turn away from crime and turn their lives around. Reducing reoffending benefits everyone, including the community, as it reduces the number of victims of crime. Last year, Mr Munro created a new post within his office to focus on criminal justice, and in particular reducing re-offending in Surrey, with £250,000 earmarked from the PCCs Community Safety Fund to finance initiatives to support those aims.