Police in Milton Keynes' region call for £1m extra funding for 'radical' reoffending prevention scheme

The project will concentrate on helping offenders change their lives when they leave the prison system.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 1:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 1:06 pm

This scheme is backed by more than 30 organisations from across the Thames Valley including: Milton Keynes, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Police are applying for the scheme through the Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) "Local Leadership Integration Fund". A grant funding scheme designed to support local projects that will improve opportunities for rehabilitation for prison leavers.

The funding opportunity, to which a maximum of £1 million will be made available to forces, makes up one of three key components in a Prison Leaver Project, announced by the MoJ last month. Cross sector monitoring and digital schemes are also in the pipeline this Spring.

Thames Valley Police apply for £1 million funding for new 'ambitious' project

Over 70 people have contributed to the idea including frontline police officers, team leaders, directors and executives.

A spokesperson for the Thames Valley Police said the scheme would bring "radical change in the way prison, probation and support organisations operate."

Matthew Barber, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “The scale of this project is huge, but so is the problem we need to overcome. Prison should absolutely be a place of punishment, but we need to ensure that all prison leavers are properly supported to deal with multiple challenges, including mental ill health and addiction. Every time we stop someone reoffending, we are preventing more people from becoming victims of crime.”

A spokesperson for the police added: "The programme will take a whole systems approach to overcoming the bureaucratic hurdles that prevent organisations from working effectively together, providing a joined up service, and achieving the best possible outcomes for our communities."

The project follows on from ideas discussed at the “From Day One” conference hosted virtually, in December last year, by the Office of the PCC, in partnership with Aspire Oxford and Thames Valley Partnership.

The outcome of the bidding process is due to be announced by the Ministry of Justice at the end of May 2021.