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Commissioner praises Pathfinder scheme

A scheme which helps first-time offenders get their lives back on track has been nominated for a prestigious national award.

Earlier this week, the Howard League for Penal Reform announced the shortlisted projects for their 2018 Community Awards which saw Devon and Cornwall Police’s Pathfinder scheme, funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, being nominated for the Policing and Adults Award.

Developed back in 2017, the scheme aims to reduce the number of victims of crime through breaking the cycle of reoffending.

Pathfinder sees a team of keyworkers work with first time offenders and low level offenders to tackle the root issues and any underlying factors which may have been the motivating factor for the individual to offend and turn to crime.

In order to take part in the four month programme, offenders must satisfy an eligibility criteria which includes the offence committed being suitable for an out of court disposal and gaining consent from the victim of the crime. In addition, the offenders must sign a contract not to reoffend during the programme, carry out voluntary activities and, if appropriate, participate in restorative justice.

Breaching or failing to comply with the contract will result in the offender receiving an Adult Simple Caution. Yet, if the offender successfully engages with the programme and complies with the contract conditions, no further action will be taken against the offender.

“I am delighted that Pathfinder has been shortlisted for the Policing and Adults Award and has gained national recognition for its work.” said Alison Hernandez

“This scheme gives people a second chance and helps them get their lives back on track.

“A core element of the Police and Crime Plan is about reducing reoffending and helping victims get justice. Pathfinder does just that. It provides early intervention for first time offenders by challenging their behaviour whilst still putting victims at the heart of the scheme.

“Pathfinder makes a real difference not only to people's lives but to our society. It help provides less crime, less offenders and less victims.”

The winners of the Community Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London in November.