As the Dyfed Powys Offender Diversionary Scheme celebrates its two-year anniversary, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn is encouraged with the number of referrals to the scheme over the two year period, as well as its completion rate.
Pobl Care and Support Group are commissioned by PCC Dafydd Llywelyn to provide the diversionary scheme in the Force area. Between November 2019 and August 2021 there have been 1158 referrals to the provider, with 907 individuals being taken onto a four-month contract; 25% of these were female offenders. From these, there has been a 94% overall completion rate.
The Offender Diversion Scheme became available force wide in November 2019 with the aim of diverting offenders away from the criminal justice system through addressing the root causes of offending at an early stage.
By delivering an early intervention, Pobl Group are providing low level offenders with support and guidance in helping them to access support, make better choices and potentially helping to remove demand from not only the police service but also other agencies and health services.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I’m pleased to see the number of referrals that have been made over the last two years as well as the high completion rates.
“This initiative seeks to tackle the root cause of offending and associated health and community related issues. The multi-agency approach seeks to address offending behaviour at a much earlier stage in a person’s offending journey and improve awareness of and access to support services for eligible offenders committing low level offences.
“Critically what this scheme does is give people a second chance. When people come into the criminal justice system, this is an opportunity for them to go through a diversionary scheme which will work with them as a person, trying to understand the reasons behind their offending and providing them with the appropriate help.
“Evidence shows that this approach leads to reductions in reoffending. By reducing the offending, we obviously reduce the number of victims in the force area and that can only be a good thing for our communities.”
As part of the Pobl Group, Pobl Care & Support is a leading provider of care and support services to people living in Wales and the South West of England, specifically aimed at improving lives and enabling independence.
Annette Brenchley, Area Manager for Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion said, “Pobl Care & Support are proud to be involved in the delivery of the Dyfed-Powys Diversionary Scheme. Over the past two years we have supported over one thousand participants to address the underlying contributory factors that led to their offending. Successful outcomes are dependent on the participants engagement in a four-month programme of interventions.
“This process is often challenging for them, but with their commitment and our support the results can be life changing, not only for themselves and their families but for the wider community who will realise the benefits of a reduction in crime and its impact.”
As part of the exit interview from the scheme, individuals are asked for their feedback on how they found the scheme. 88% have provided feedback that the scheme has enabled them to make positive changes.
“I feel as though the choices I make in my life now are mine to make. Before I felt like everyone else dictated to me what I should do. Not any more – it’s my life and I’m responsible for the choices I make” – direct client comment
Feedback also included 91% of individuals reporting feeling safer following the scheme. The feeling of safety can mean something different for each individual, for some it may be their living environment and their housing situation, or feeling safer dealing with an abusive relationship. 90% of individuals reported that the scheme had improved their ability to live a productive crime free life in the community.