The success of a scheme to reduce low-level re-offending in Peterborough has been celebrated for helping 39 people.
The Integrated Recovery Offender Programme (IROP) is designed to reduce repeated low-level offending by providing a single point of access to substance misuse services, mental health support and other sources of support that address the root causes that lead to individuals re-offending.
IROP is an integrated team led by health and social care charity Change Grow Live and funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Jason Ablewhite.
It was set up in May 2016 to work with repeat offenders who typically commit ‘lower level’ crimes that result in frequent and short spells of detention in police custody and short term prison sentences.
At a special event held at Change Grow Live Aspire, the free support service for substance misuse issues in Peterborough, guests heard about IROP’s pioneering approach and successes from speakers including the new Mayor of Peterborough, Cllr Chris Ash, Mr Ablewhite, and the chief executive of Change Grow Live, Mark Moody.
Two service users spoke movingly about the support they had received through IROP and how it had helped them to overcome challenges and live more positive and productive lives.
Since its launch, IROP has helped 39 individuals and provided them with intensive support packages to support their specific needs.
Speaking at the event, Mr Ablewhite said: “The Integrated Offender Recovery Programme is a fantastic example of how different agencies can work together to support people with complex needs.
“People with drug and alcohol, or mental health, issues often find themselves stuck in a repeat spiral of re-offending. With the right support individuals can be helped towards living more fulfilling lives.”
Joe Keegan, commissioning manager for substance misuse at Peterborough City Council, said “IROP is achieving some excellent results with people who misuse drugs but need an enhanced level of outreach support to engage them in drug treatment and help reduce their offending.
“The investment the Police and Crime Commissioner is putting in alongside the council is making a real difference to this vulnerable group of individuals.”
Claire Grainger, manager of CGL Peterborough Aspire, said: “At a time when we are working with fewer resources, IROP is an example of how co-ordinated partnership working and pooling of resources and expertise can help us achieve more for less, and ensure that we are providing the right support to people who need it.
“We hope that it will serve as a model of best practice in dealing with the root causes of re-offending, and are delighted that so many have come together to celebrate its success.”