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14 Nov 2017

New project to help people in Reading and guide them away from crime

A new project aimed at helping vulnerable people and guiding them away from crime will be launched in Reading today (Tuesday 14 November).

Thames Valley Police has seen a rise in the number of people coming to them seeking help with potential vulnerabilities – and the new project is designed to help these people before they become caught up in the criminal justice system.

The scheme will be launched at an event organised by the Howard League for Penal Reform and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is the lead provider for the Thames Valley Liaison & Diversion Service, which received national recognition last year when it was named runner-up in the Howard League Community Awards. The annual awards celebrate successful community projects that reduce crime and transform lives for the better.

The new scheme will herald a change in approach to the assessment of the needs of people who are at risk of becoming involved in crime. Traditionally, resources have been focused in police custody suites and magistrates’ courts – where people are arrested, charged and sentenced – but the new project will offer assessment much earlier, to help prevent people getting into trouble in the first place.

Speakers scheduled to appear at the event include: Catryn Yousefi, Programmes Manager at the Howard League for Penal Reform; Dr Gwen Bonner, Clinical Director (Reading)/Clinical Director Research at Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Ian Trethewey, of the NHS England National Health & Justice Team; and Joe Franks, Deputy Service Manager at the Thames Valley Liaison & Diversion Service.

Contact

Rob Preece
Campaigns and Communications Manager
The Howard League for Penal Reform
Tel: +44 (0)20 7241 7880
Mobile: +44 (0)7714 604955
Email: robert.preece@howardleague.org

Charlotte Mackenzie
Communications Officer
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01344 41 5737
Mobile: 07342 057 318
Email: charlotte.mackenzie@berkshire.nhs.uk

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