Revolving Doors Agency has published a review of all Police and Crime Plans across England and Wales. These plans are the key public document setting out Police and Crime Commissioners’ priorities for tackling crime in their local area, and represent an opportunity to address entrenched disadvantage that can fuel the cycle of crisis and crime.
The review explores how Police and Commissioners (PCCs) address the issue of people trapped in the ‘revolving door’, who as a result of homelessness, poor mental health and substance misuse, come into repeated contact with police and courts, and how they support young adults to grow out of crime. The review also includes an interactive map which compares the police and crime plans across local areas.
The review demonstrates that many PCCs recognise these multiple disadvantages and their relationship to crime, and across the country are willing to innovate and take risks in order to prevent and address crime.
Key findings include:
- An overwhelming majority of police and crime plans identified domestic violence (95%), mental health (95%), and substance misuse (88%) as the key vulnerabilities in their local areas;
- Whilst two thirds (65%) of PCCs recognise the needs of young people in transition to adulthood, it is disappointing that this represents a drop from previous plans (86%) given the evidence that appropriate interventions at this time can mean young offenders are more likely to stop offending;
- In comparison to former plans there was a decreased reference to vulnerable families in assessment of needs (88% in old plans; 49% new plans);
- Despite housing being identified as a local need in a third of the plans, it rarely appears as a strategic priority (5%);
- Whilst 88% of PCCs recognise substance misuse as a key vulnerability, it is disappointing that this has decreased from 98% in previous plans, given the context of rising numbers of drug-related deaths across the country.
This overall picture is positive one - however, the ambition to address the needs of people facing entrenched disadvantage varies across the country.
Christina Marriott, Revolving Doors Chief Executive, said:
“PCCs sit on a fault line of a number of different systems and budgets. This offers them a real opportunity to forge and drive new local partnerships, for example across criminal justice, health and housing. Effective partnerships should focus on preventing the revolving door – ensuring people don’t fall through gaps in services or end up reaching crisis point before they get help.”
Revolving Doors will continue to work with PCCs. We will continue to look for examples of good practice, and update our map with any approaches or services that have been introduced or championed by individual PCCs in their area. We will also offer practical support to their offices to develop innovative approaches to supporting young people and women in the local areas, collect evidence, and prevent and address the revolving door of crisis and crime.
This work has been kindly funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust. Revolving Doors is a member of the Transition to Adulthood Alliance – a coalition of organisations brought together by the Barrow Cadbury Trust to develop and promote evidence of effective policy and practice for young adults at all stages of the criminal justice system.