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'Probation staff help to cut crime in Bradford'
Bradford probation officers are leading the way nationally in helping to reduce re-offending rates among criminals.
The district has bucked the trend, with latest figures showing a reduction of more than 14 per cent in re-offending. This compared with a 4.3 per cent reduction across West Yorkshire, and a 0.03 per cent increase nationally.
The work of West Yorkshire Probation Trust continued to exceed expectations with national research showing that 111 fewer crimes were committed by repeat offenders in Bradford last year. Ministry of Justice figures for local adult reoffending between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2012, show that Bradford has seen adult reoffending reduce for the sixth year running, the largest fall in West Yorkshire.
Maggie Smallridge, head of Probation in Bradford, said: “Our aim in supervising offenders is to reduce re-offending and protect the public.
“It is wonderful to see that our hard work is achieving real results, demonstrating that probation is incredibly effective and a viable alternative to short prison sentences. However, the work doesn’t stop here and we’ll be continuing to strive to make communities in Bradford safer.”
Probation staff work with people to alter their behaviour by changing the way they think and helping them to address other factors which have contributed to their decision to offend. A key part of probation’s role in Bradford is to work with the police, the local authority, health and housing agencies to address the causes of crime, as well as supervising offenders in carrying 102,281 hours of Community Payback, or unpaid work.
Among the unpaid work projects undertaken by offenders as part of a community sentence are clearing overgrown parks, growing produce for homeless people on allotments, decorating community centres and church halls, cooking and serving meals at lunch clubs for the elderly, and cleaning and sorting clothes donated to charity shops.