Pilot scheme aims to stop re-offending

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A PILOT study to reduce re-offending in low level offenders has been launched in Portsmouth.

Ten people, of different ages and genders, took part in the first course which aims to put victims of crime at the heart of the criminal justice system.

The course, which was run out of Southsea Fire Station, in Somers Road, gave the offenders the chance to reflect on their crimes and think about how they would have affected their victims.

A work book was completed which gave them case studies to analyse and got them listing the consequences of committing crimes.

The scheme is being supported by Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Hayes.

If it works, two courses a month will be run from March - one in Portsmouth, the other in Southampton - with the chance of three courses a month by the summer.

Rob Jarman, assistant commissioner for criminal justice, said: ‘This course is the first of its kind and is part of a national pilot.

‘We have been working with the charity Victim Support to give offenders of low level crime the chance to think about their actions.

‘If they have been given a fixed penalty notice of £90 or received a conditional caution, they can do the course instead.

‘It costs £45 with any surplus being donated to Victim Support.

‘The scheme gives them the chance to think about how their actions affected the victim and the victims family but also their own family.

‘It aims to make offenders think and stop them from re-offending.

‘It also aims to make the victims feel that more is being done for them and to improve their satisfaction.’