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Offenders Postcarded

by msecadm4921

A postcard sporting a ‘Wish you were here..?’ message and showing a picture of Birmingham prison is being hand-delivered to almost 700 prolific offenders across the West Midlands.

National research shows that 10 per cent of offenders are responsible for 50 per cent of serious crime, says the force. The offenders being targeted are believed to be responsible for committing more than 47,000 crimes across the force area in the last 12 months alone. The initiative is part of Operation Headway, a month-long operation involving every operational command unit across the force. <br><br>Looking to move<br><br>The rear of the postcard gives advice for those looking to move away from offending, and details some of the agencies the force can put them in touch with. It signs off with a ‘thinking of you’ greeting. Persistent criminals who have a history of repeat offending will aim to be contacted or visited at home every day by police officers, often joined by colleagues from partner agencies such as the probation service. They will be told they are being targeted as part of the operation and warned they will be arrested if they continue to commit crime.<br><br>Offenders will be split into two categories: ‘red’ offenders are those who believed to be actively committing crime who are wanted for questioning about offences; and ‘amber’ offenders are those on bail, on short term remand or are due for release from prison<br><br>The operation, which began on September 6 and runs all month, will particularly focus on offenders who persistently commit acquisitive crime – robbery, car crime and burglary – but will also be extended to include violent offenders. <br><br>The first ‘Headway’ initiative was launched in June and resulted in huge reductions in crime, say police. Burglary was down 30 per cent, vehicle crime fell by 27 per cent and robbery decreased by 28 per cent. Overall crime in the West Midlands fell by almost 14 per cent – resulting in over 12,000 fewer victims – more than the entire figure for the whole of last year. Operation Headway works alongside the three ‘Safer’ initiatives, which have now become part of everyday policing in the West Midlands – Safer Streets focusing on robbery, Safer Homes tackling house burglary and Safer Motors targeting vehicle crime. Chief Constable Paul Scott-Lee has held a meeting with partner agencies including the probation service, local authorities, crime and disorder reduction partnerships, prisons, Crown Prosecution Service, health, education and the courts to call upon their support for the initiative. <br><br>What they say<br><br>Assistant Chief Constable (Crime) Stuart Hyde said: "For this operation to be a success we need to work closely with our colleagues from other agencies, in particular the CPS and the courts. As well as targeting persistent offenders and locking criminals up, an important part of the initiative will involve attempting to encourage them to move away from a life of crime. To do this we will be looking to other partners such as the probation service and housing agencies to provide the necessary support to help divert offenders away from crime."<br>

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