Violent Offender Management


Transcript of Violent Offender Management

Page 1: Violent Offender Management

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Introduction 3

Key principles of violent offender management 6


Greater Manchester: Spotlight integrated offender management approach 9

In practice 9Case study 11Case study 12

West Midlands: BRGV shared priority forum and MAPPA (Gangs) integrated offender management 14

In practice 14Case study 17

Merseyside: VOMU strategy and delivery team 18In practice 19Case study 21Case study 22

London: Pathways programme 24In practice 25Case study 28Case study 29

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This booklet contains examples of good practice in offender management for those who are affected by or perpetrate violent crime as individuals or as part of a gang or other criminal group. This is supplementary to, and should be used in conjunction with, other publications providing guidance on offender management.

This publication is for those who work in offender management, crime prevention, the police, probation, youth offending teams, health and education. It is intended to help ensure that existing and emerging risk management approaches respond effectively to the needs of adults and young people involved in violent offending behaviour.

Between 2008/09 and 2009/10, the Home Office granted funding through the Violent Crime Unit’s Tackling Gangs Action Programme (TGAP) and the Tackling Knives Action Programme (TKAP) to develop bespoke risk management processes in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands and London.

This booklet describes four approaches to identifying, referring, assessing and co-ordinating risk management. As well as providing case studies of already established processes, it offers insights into the reasons why people become involved in violent behaviour and the risks associated with committing violent offences, links to research and the evidence base, and useful tips on how to set up referral pathways and structures for information sharing and multi-agency working.

A key ambition of the Home Office is to promote wider use and ownership of a risk management approach to violent offenders, to ensure the continuation of existing work.

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An integrated risk management approach can strengthen partnerships’ focus on those offenders who are causing most harm and, in turn, can lead to more effective and efficient use of resources and a lower risk of re-offending.

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Key principles of Violent Offender Management

These include:

• Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPAs);

• the Prolific and other Priority Offender (PPO) strategy; and

• local risk management – case management forums.

Violent offender management is a multi-agency issue: partnership working and information sharing are key. We encourage agencies to adopt the following principles, which were explored at the Home Office’s Violent Offender Management seminar in January 2010:

• regular monitoring of individuals on licence;

• quality, regularly updated assessments and information sharing between partner agencies used to inform decision making and planning;

• rapid enforcement interventions to prevent or inhibit transgressions into unacceptable or non-compliant behaviour;

• everyone working with or in contact with a violent offender, their family or parents has a responsibility to recognise and know how to act on evidence or concerns, and ensure that appropriate action is taken; and

This booklet describes the risk management approaches developed in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands and London. Most fit within existing offender risk management models and statutory and non-statutory frameworks.

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• all agencies and professionals work in partnership – and with others, including members of the local community – to make well-informed assessments and deliver activities to manage and reduce the harm posed by violent offenders.

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The Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR) is a UK-wide system used to store and share information and intelligence on those individuals who have been identified as posing a risk of serious harm to the public. ViSOR is designed to facilitate the work of MAPPA by assisting co-operative working between the three ‘responsible authorities’ (the police, probation and prison services) in their joint management of individuals posing a risk of serious harm.

The ‘potentially dangerous person’ section of ViSOR is being improved and is due to go live in summer 2010. It will accommodate information about gang members to ensure that intelligence is shared between agencies, including detailed information on behaviour, associates and distinguishing marks such as tattoos and scars. This will better enable each agency to fulfil their responsibility within MAPPAs, and will be integral to the offender management of gang members.

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Greater Manchester: Spotlight integrated offender management approach

Spotlight was introduced after a successful pilot in Tameside in May 2009. With Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) and Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB) support, a multi-agency strategic and operational steering group was set up. This led to the realignment and joint commissioning of resources, setting of evidence-based priorities, co-location of teams, data-sharing protocols and a performance management framework.

In practiceA number of teams and panels assess gang offending and risk. All gang members, where risk passes a threshold as assessed by a MAPPA Support Unit, are known and managed. Spotlight focuses on individuals of any age who are known, through police, partner and/or community intelligence, to be gang

affiliated and involved in serious crime. The Gang Case Planning Forum is a similar specialised response by the Youth Offending Service (YOS) to cases where there are concerns of vulnerability, harm and offending.

With Spotlight, a lead senior probation officer works with local probation, the YOS, CDRPs and the Manchester Multi-Agency Gang Strategy to co-ordinate risk management of offenders, including:

• PPOs;

• Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs) levels 2 and 3 violent offenders;

• high risk of serious harm offenders;

• local acquisitive crime priority offenders;

• high-risk domestic violence cases; and

• priority Youth Offending Team (YOT) cases.

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Spotlight relies on cross-agency communications, protocols around information sharing and a commitment to working together. Having a range of forums to discuss individuals is critical and Spotlight’s approach relies on information from agencies beyond the criminal justice system such as schools, youth services and health providers.

The Spotlight project team has produced a toolkit for the implementation of an integrated offender management programme within a CDRP district. It documents the key principles and elements of the programme, and the steps required to develop a consistent strategy and operational model, and includes examples of good practice from the implementation of Spotlight across Greater Manchester. The toolkit is available on Greater Manchester’s LCJB website: 2638.html

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Case study

In 2008, the Multi-Agency Co-ordinator for Gun and Gang Offending post was created as part of the Manchester Multi-Agency Gang Service (MMAGS) and a senior probation officer was appointed.

The co-operation and vision of senior police staff led to the Gun and Gang Co-ordinator being co-located in a local police station with the specialist gangs team Xcalibre Task Force. This proved to be a quick win for agencies and, flowing from this arrangement and with the support of police, probation, the MMAGS YOS and other key agencies, the pan-Manchester gang MAPPA model was established. Immediate access and the turning around of intelligence into information for front-line practitioners was readily available and police also benefited from having a direct window into the risk management work of probation and the YOS.

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Case study

Simon* was a known member of a notorious Manchester street gang. He had been convicted of gang-related firearms offences. A gang MAPPA referral request was made by the Multi-Agency Co-ordinator. Evidence was provided by Xcalibre to the MAPPP and the panel registered the case and developed a risk management plan.

Since his release in early 2009, effective risk management resulted in good compliance and lack of evidence of continued gang activity. Simon says the plan helped him gain control of his life and created a reason to say ‘no’ to his past associates. The case was de-registered in September 2009 after no intelligence or evidence of continued gang involvement. While licence conditions remained they were regularly reviewed and, in December 2009, the curfews were removed. This graduated approach is regarded as positive progress and the approach is being replicated in other cases.

The MAPPAs provided much-needed leverage in conjunction with the statutory licence; however, the monitoring, consultation and decision-making process could only be successfully applied through multi-agency working. The Multi-Agency Co-ordinator role led to a comprehensive process and avoided disjointed activity.

* Name changed.

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LessonsA multi-agency approach can reduce harm by pooling resources, sharing ideas, and delivering improved risk management. Spotlight’s success is due to the following:

1) Central project team: A small, co-located multi-agency team to oversee implementation, using resources from specialised teams.

2) Project Board: A strategic, multi-agency steering group linked to the CDRP and LCJB structures, to provide long-term direction and mobilise organisational change.

3) Spotlight framework and principles: A set of basic principles to create an offender management model that provides a consistent approach across Greater Manchester.

4) Development of local area structures: The project team will work in one local area to develop, in conjunction with partners in that

area, a localised structure based around the basic principles. This model can be used for roll-out across Greater Manchester.

5) Development of a central support facility: A co-located team (in one or more locations) to support the local structures, replicate the principles on a regional cross-border basis, provide guidance and maintain links with national bodies.

For more information on the Spotlight integrated offender management approach, contact: Cliff Bacon, Inspector, Spotlight Team (telephone: 0161 856 2384).

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West Midlands: BRGV shared priority forum and MAPPA (Gangs) integrated offender management

The Birmingham Reducing Gang Violence (BRGV) group has been funded by the Home Office to spearhead work to tackle gangs in Birmingham. BRGV is a priority workstream within the Safer Birmingham Partnership. BRGV is a partnership approach and its purpose is to work collectively to eradicate gang-related violence. The group includes the police, probation, prisons, Birmingham City Council, Safer Birmingham Partnership and community representatives.

BRGV uses the skills, competencies and capacities of the group to reduce gang violence and gun-related crime. It formed a specialist Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MAGU) to manage offenders who present the highest risk and to

safeguard those who are involved or affected by urban gang culture. The MAGU is co-located and includes a police sergeant, four police officers, a senior probation officer, two probation officers, a children’s safeguarding officer, a Birmingham Anti-Social Behaviour Unit Officer and a YOS officer.

In practiceThe MAGU manages the risk of up to 80 urban street gang members (who are managed by the shared priority forum and MAPPA) and a further 78 early intervention individuals. When dealing with gangs, the MAGU uses a ‘carrot-and-stick’ approach. The stick involves enforcement (including Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), civil injunctions and licence conditions such as curfews and geographical exclusion zones) – these are the ‘catch and convict’ and ‘prevent and deter’ strands of the MAGU’s approach.

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The MAGU also offers a ‘carrot’ for those who wish to exit gangs and transform in its ‘resettlement and rehabilitation’ strand, and support can include counselling and mentoring.

BRGV has pioneered the use of high-risk conflict management where mediation is used to slow down conflict, especially after murders, and provide time for other interventions.

BRGV also provides diversionary activities and refers children into the Children and Young Person Panel if there are concerns around the child or young person’s risk or vulnerability to gang activity. The services currently commissioned include mentoring and self-development programmes, such as the Building Lives Intensive Intervention Programme.

Each offender is allocated a police offender manager and a probation offender manager/YOT worker, who monitors the offender to identify risk, and ensure that the ‘catch and convict’ and ‘resettlement and rehabilitation’ strands are applied appropriately.

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Diagram 1



MARAP – Multi-Agency Resource Allocation PanelSPF – Shared Partnership ForumOCG – organised crime groupUSG – urban street gang







Referral submittedto pan Birmingham

Signi�cantmembership of OCG/USG

demonstrating controlover othermembers

MAPPA qualifying o�ender(level 2 or 3)

Substantialmembership of



Pan BirminghamMAPPA

Pan BirminghamSPF OCU SPF Agency involvement Community diversion

PPO statutoryo�ender

Under statutorysupervision

Identi�ed as havinga strong likelihood to in�ict

severe harm to thecommunity/known



The diagram shows the referral process of gang members into the MAGU.

For more information on the West Midlands approach, please contact Police Sergeant 9460 Keeley Bevington at [email protected]

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Case study

A 16-year-old gang member was referred to the MAGU from a local policing team. Intelligence encounters and arrests linked him to a prominent and very active urban street gang. The gang were suspected of being involved in a spate of violent robbery offences. Despite numerous arrests for robbery, very few cases led to successful prosecutions due to witnesses’/victims’ reluctance to co-operate; this was despite outstanding stolen property being found in his possession. The initial response and priority of the MAGU and partner agencies was to gain control over his behaviour and to provide immediate respite to the affected communities. The multi-agency decision was to apply for an interim ASBO. An ASBO was successfully obtained in relation to this male. This male was then referred to Pan Birmingham Shared Partnership Forum (SPF) and accepted as a gang PPO. A joint agency risk management plan was agreed – this consisted of joint work carried out with police and the YOT, positive interventions including gang workshops and specialist intervention work with third sector organisations. This was coupled with positive policing around ASBO prohibitions.

This male stopped offending and showed a real desire to exit gang lifestyle; he has acknowledged that the ASBO had prevented him from being dragged into retaliatory gang attacks. He also acknowledged it had provided him with an explanation and excuse to his peers not to go to gang-vulnerable areas or out on the streets. Following six months of no offending or intelligence linking this male to gang membership or offending, he was removed from the SPF agenda.

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Merseyside: VOMU strategy and delivery team

In 2008, the Home Office funded Merseyside Police and partners to set up the Liverpool Violent Offender Management Unit (VOMU), which was tasked to deal with potentially violent offenders in Liverpool.

The VOMU aims to reduce violent behaviour by working with partner agencies to risk-assess individuals’ potential to inflict harm and to provide interventions to stimulate and promote positive behavioural change.

The first element of VOMU’s work was a research project, which sought to identify themes in the backgrounds of violent offenders and, by understanding the situations that give rise to violent behaviour, identify processes and interventions in response. The research identified three types of violent offender: ‘vulnerable’, ‘abusive’ and ‘anti-social’. It also found interesting results in relation to the association of weapon use and offending backgrounds, eg anti-social offenders were highly associated with gun use.

A risk assessment model was developed based on the research outcomes. The model identifies the criminogenic pathways that lead to high-risk behaviour. By identifying the dominant theme in the offender’s background, specific interventions are then commissioned, eg an offender with a dominant anti-social background will have an intervention programme designed to break down negative peer influences.

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In practiceThe VOMU team is based in the local authority’s building, with co-location helping to ensure effective information sharing and joint funding. VOMU staff include a police inspector (who manages the unit), a forensic psychologist (who conducts research into violent offenders and risk assessment), a social worker from the YOS, two police officers, a probation officer, a researcher and an administrative assistant.

The psychologist developed the risk assessment model, which complements the systems used by probation and the YOS.

Referrals are made from a variety of sources. Offenders released from a young offender institute may have attendance at the VOMU as a condition of their licence or order. Referrals for offenders subject to community orders attend the unit as a ‘specified activity’. Referrals are

received from the Matrix Gun Crime Unit and the VOMU is directly linked to the PPO Joint Agency Group process to allow for a cross-over of offenders from the PPO scheme that are violent and fit the selection criteria.

During the 20 weeks with VOMU, offenders are given education and vocational training, mentoring and accommodation to ensure each of them leaves with clear future choices laid out before them. The YOS social worker and probation officer act as ‘case handlers’. Once the offender completes their contract with VOMU, they return to their original agencies to ensure continuity.

VOMU’s police officers engage offenders in activities and work initiatives, and guide them to drug and alcohol treatment. They play a pivotal role in VOMU as the trust that is built up between the offenders and the officers can improve offenders’ attitudes toward the police.

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The police, probation and YOS officers have worked hard to develop links with charities and organisations working with offenders, including: the Prince’s Trust, North West Training Council, Fairbridge Trust, Employer Coalition Network UK, JobCentre Plus, Progress 2 Work, Connexions, Addaction and Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

For more information on the VOMU or for a copy of the research report, please call Inspector Ian Noble on 0151 225 4836 or email [email protected]

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Case study

At 20 years old, Chris had a long-standing criminal career with 14 convictions and a quick escalation from motor theft to robbery and violence. He had been affiliated to several gangs and was involved in gang activity until a recent custodial sentence. His violence continued in prison, where he committed numerous assaults on prison staff and took an inmate hostage.

Chris had a history of truanting and was expelled. He grew up in a criminal family and witnessed severe abuse. He lived in an area dominated by crime and gangs. Prior to attending the VOMU, Chris showed no remorse for any of his actions.

Chris started his contract with the VOMU in April 2009 and has responded well. He is motivated to change, driven by a desire to keep out of custody. He began to understand the impact of his actions and the distress his behaviour causes to people. He has become very aware of the influences on his offending and how he can be drawn into negative behaviour.

Due to his progress, Chris has been reduced to MAPPA level 1. VOMU police officers helped him locate certificates from his time in prison. Chris received basic skills training through Fairbridge Trust and enrolled into a Vauxhall adult education college in Liverpool.

During his 26 weeks with the VOMU Chris has not re-offended and has clear future choices laid out before him. He is very motivated to stop offending and is enjoying his freedom.

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Case study

Marley is 22 years old. His first conviction at the age of 16 was for assaulting a constable. Drug offences and violence with weapons followed. He graduated to dealing class A drugs and becoming a known gun carrier. His index offence was possession with intent to supply crack cocaine.

Marley is intelligent: despite truanting he received eight GCSEs. Even in prison he would have a strict routine and would dedicate himself to activities. He comes from a criminal family and has many criminal associates. When asked why he started offending he replied, “That’s just what you do from where I am from.” He showed no remorse and admitted he could be very violent. He talked about the “buzz” offending gave him and the structure offending gave to his day. He had links with the Croxteth Crew gang, and it was feared that he would take up a senior position with the gang on release from prison.

Marley started his contract with the VOMU in May 2009 and has made excellent progress. Initially, the Matrix gun crime unit strongly opposed his return to Liverpool, due to the severity of his behaviour and links to gun crime nominals. However, arrangements were made for him to return to a different address. He was willing to comply as he did not wish to return to prison and wanted to seek an apprenticeship and get a job. On release, members of a rival gang found out his address and made threats, so in addition to his involvement with the VOMU, ensuring his safety was of paramount importance. A threat assessment was completed and he was placed in new accommodation, negotiated with a social housing provider.

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Case study (continued)

Marley developed a very strong relationship with the VOMU police officers. They made appointments in relation to apprenticeships and sporting activities. He had a keen interest in a sporting activity and the police officers set this up for him. This was a valuable exercise: it increased his motivation, created trust with the police officers and generated intelligence as the offender would talk to the officers. They helped him with his CV, set up mock exams to help him to pass a health and safety course, and helped him to study for his interview for an apprenticeship. Eventually Marley was accepted onto the plumbing course, and he is very enthusiastic both about this and gaining full-time employment in the future.

Due to his positive attitude and continued non-offending behaviour, his gun nominal status was reduced from gold to silver.

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London: Pathways programme

The Pathways programme is a community-led, multi-agency programme that gives structure and governance to a partnership approach to reduce gang-related violence. Although many interventions are in place elsewhere, Pathways coordinates delivery across agencies and ensures a focus on the individuals who pose greatest risk and show willingness to change.

Pathways concentrates on gang-affiliated individuals who pose a high level of risk. It identifies what risk factors drive them to commit violence, and what protective factors prevent it. Pathways’ success is dependant on the ability to assess and reduce negative influences, while replacing them with positive factors.

Pathways is based on delivering three key messages to offenders. Learning from the delivery of this programme in Strathclyde and Boston, USA, shows that success is based on ensuring partners can deliver on the promises made and can manage expectations.

It is useful to think of the Pathways approach as being comprised of three equally weighted strands: ‘consequences’, ‘help’ and ‘community voice’. Each of the three key messages is related to one strand.

The Pathways messages are:

• Theviolencemuststop: Your community does not want to lose you and supports the actions of police and partners in tackling violence. Your actions have consequences for your family, friends and communities.

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• Consequencesforviolence: Police know who you are and if you continue to engage in violence, the consequences will be robust, maximising both police and partner enforcement options.

• Helpif youwantit: If you want to exit your current gang/violent lifestyle, we will do what we can to assist you. This includes identifying services available and support to access them by a dedicated mentor/advocate of the services available in the local area. We also make it clear that we cannot promise access to these, nor prioritise access to services such as housing.

Those being targeted by Pathways receive all three messages from police, partners and the community. In the US this has been by way of a ‘call in’ whereby a number of gang members are called to a meeting where the messages are delivered in London, approaches also include home visits and street encounters.

In practicePathways is delivered by a multi-agency team of police, community safety officers, YOS officers, probation and third sector organisations. Although not always co-located, the teams make use of existing management and meeting structures. The team structure varies across the three pilots, but the general set-up is in Diagram 2.

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Diagram 2

Lead agency(strategy)

Help strandlead

(local authority)

Consequencesstrand lead




strand lead







In London, the three pilot boroughs developed a risk assessment process which, under the minimum standards of Pathways, included:

• multi-agency information sharing arrangements;

• information from the community where appropriate;

• a multi-agency response, which is carried out and assessed in a timely manner;

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• all cases and clients are tracked through a management system (ViSOR), which is accessible by all partners.

The use of ViSOR as a risk management tool for gang-affiliated individuals is helping Pathways focus on individuals known to a number of agencies. Staff from the police and local authority are trained to use ViSOR and terminals have been installed for the teams.

For each individual, a multi-agency case file is created to inform risk management and interventions. The method of delivery of the message is recorded as well as any further action, for example whether the individual comes to the attention of either the ‘consequences’ or the ‘help’ strands. If this is the case, any action taken is recorded (eg meeting with an advocate, development of a help plan, or operational activity).

Community forums are used to identify local community issues and deliver a range of local programmes to support parents and tackle gang violence outside of school settings.

By the end of November 2009, messages had been delivered to 105 individuals. Of these, 38 per cent continue to be engaged with the ‘help’ strand, and 3 per cent have come to the attention of the ‘consequences’ strand.

Pathways is being evaluated by the MPS Strategic Research and Evaluation Unit, and will be peer reviewed. An evaluation will be published in April 2010, with a longitudinal study later in 2010.

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Case study

John is 15 years old and was identified in a multi-agency case file management meeting held to discuss violent gang members as a suitable candidate for the Pathways programme. John was part of a gang and involved in violent criminal activity. A home visit was arranged and John’s mother was present at the meeting. The panel explained to John and his mother the reality of John’s activity and the consequences of being involved in such a lifestyle. The panel also made the offer of the ‘help’ strand. John decided to sign up to this.

At the time of the home visit, John was in a pupil exclusion unit, but not attending. His assessments showed he was under-achieving, had anger management issues and was part of a gang.

John was referred to an advocate. With support from the advocate he started GCSEs and is back at a mainstream school. He is doing very well, not just in his educational attainment, but also with his behaviour. John has joined the Army cadets of his own volition and attends boxing once a week (arranged for him by the community advocate).

John was ‘student of the month’ last month at the centre he attends and has made excellent progress since signing up to Pathways and accessing the ‘help’ strand.

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Case study

Joe, aged 18, was invited to attend a group ‘call in’. Joe had previous affiliations with a prolific gang within the borough and had previously been the victim of a violent stabbing. He was reporting to the London Probation Offender Management team as he was subject to licence.

The ‘call in’ was attended by the borough commander and four members of the police gangs team, the Pathways co-ordinator and two Pathways advocates, the community safety co-ordinator, and a community representative (a mother who lost her daughter due to gang-related violence).

Joe chose to remain for the meeting and was overwhelmed by the personal account of the community representative. He immediately agreed to take up the offer of help and identified issues that were preventing him from disassociating with his gang associates. A meeting was scheduled with an advocate to explore these issues and develop an action plan.

Joe has positively engaged with the ‘help’ strand. He continues to meet his probation reporting requirement and has regular contact with his Pathways advocate. Meetings with Joe are also planned to occur outside of the borough to discourage him from entering into the borough and re-establishing his criminal networks. His parents, however, live in the borough and during a recent visit he was attacked by a local gang. However, Joe is keen to move out of London and has been selected as a semi-professional footballer for a football club. He is awaiting a trial for another football club and hopes to relocate to this area, a move that will be supported by Pathways.

For more information on Pathways please contact Emma Fleming or Simon Strick via email: [email protected]

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For more information on violent offender management, including downloadable presentations from the four areas, please go to:

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When you have finished withthis publication please recycle it

This publication is printedon 50% recycled paper

© Crown copyright. Produced by COI on behalf of the Home Office. January 2010. Ref: 300827