Reoffending rate keeps on dropping

Community payback at a Calderdale nursery
Community payback at a Calderdale nursery

THE rate of crinimals reoffending has fallen in Calderdale, new figures show.

Each quarter the Ministry of Justice predicts the levels of reoffending. Calderdale was found to be 12.16 per cent below the expected rate - the second best rate across Yorkshire.

And the latest Calderdale figures show there has been another reduction in the number of reoffenders going through the criminal justice system.

This is the fourth consecutive drop in our area.

Gini Whitehead, Head of Probation in Calderdale, said she was encouraged by the news.

“Calderdale Probation is committed to protecting the public and reducing reoffending rates. We are encouraged by the fourth consecutive drop in reoffending rates.

“We are developing innovative projects, many including strong partnerships with local agencies, so that this positive downward trend in re-offending rates continues.

The government last week announced they were set to start forcing offenders to complete their community payback hours in a shorter space of time.

Courts will be told to urge unemployed offenders to work a minimum of 28 hours in a week.

The fifth day will be spent looking for work or face losing their jobseekers’ allowance.

Recent Community Payback projects in Calderdale - where offenders do public work - have included clearing brambles and weeds from St Martin’s church, Brighouse, restoring the clubhouse at Rastrick Bowling Club and creating a play area for children in Stoney Lane estate, Lightcliffe.

Julie Thornton, assistant manager for community payback in Calderdale and Kirklees. said probation officers were already working to get orders completed quickly, often meeting clients within 48 hours.

“We’ve been gearing up for it and we’ve already started intensive reporting,” she said.

“As part of the intensive order, one day a week will be dedicated to job hunting - something currently that can be imposed after a referral by an officer. “It’s always been seen as a good thing because there is a link between employment and offending,” she said.