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A programme aimed at supporting criminals from reoffending has been recommissioned by Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.

The PCC is committed to breaking the cycle of crime, as set out in his Safer West Mercia Plan, so is building on last year’s £43,000 investment in the DIVERT programme with a further £22,000 in this financial year.  

Intervening early and supporting offenders of drug-related crimes in West Mercia, DIVERT is led by local charity Cranstoun in collaboration with West Mercia Police and partner agencies.

The programme has seen 610 referrals between April 2022 and March 2023 with 8 out of 10 offenders attending assessments. DIVERT has also gained attention from other police forces both in the UK and internationally as an effective way of breaking the cycle of crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, said: “As part of my Safer West Mercia plan, I am committed to ensuring everyone in communities across our three counties are safe and feel safe.

“By contributing to breaking the cycle of crime through this funding everyone in the process, from the individuals who are referred to the communities and potential future victims of crime, are feeling the benefits of this investment. We are making a change in the culture around crime and ensuring it is stamped out before it has a chance to cause an impact on our communities.”

Megan Jones, Director at Cranstoun who leads the DIVERT programme for the PCC said: “A criminal record from drug possession can be more damaging than the drug itself to future life chances, jobs and opportunity. DIVERT is an effective way of breaking the cycle of crime by giving people the right intervention and a place to talk about their substance use and change their behaviour.

“As well as being a successful educational intervention, DIVERT is helping to build trust with the force and save police officers time to focus on responding to other incidents.

“We’re proud to work with the PCC and West Mercia Police to deliver this intervention to people right across the force area.”