Breaking the cycle of reoffending by giving offenders a second chance at a family life


Offenders with alcohol dependency issues are being offered a second chance at a family life thanks to projects being supported by elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).

Speaking at the start of Alcohol Awareness Week, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ Addiction and Substance Misuse Leads David Sidwick and Joy Allen highlighted the work PCCs are doing to cut crime by making communities safer and by reducing reoffending.

Ms Allen said: “This year's Alcohol Awareness Week is centred on the theme of alcohol and relationships. As PCCs, we want to encourage people to drink responsibility and not let alcohol wreck those relationships. Alcohol is often a key factor in cases of domestic abuse and child neglect. Excessive drinking can rip families apart; but conversely a stable home life can play a key role in helping an offender turn their life around.”

To breaking the cycle of reoffending and give offenders that second chance at a family life, PCCs fund projects which work with offenders in custody and on release from prison to tackle alcohol addiction.

In Durham, for example, Ms Allen invested in alcohol sobriety tags to help offenders change their behaviour.

She said: “We had a case where a mother had her son removed from her care because of child neglect linked to alcohol use. But after volunteering for a sobriety tag, which served as a motivational tool to help her cut her alcohol intake, the mother has proven she is making progress and I’m pleased to say she is in the process of having her son returning to her care.”

Mr Sidwick, the PCC for Dorset, said: “Alcohol also fuels violent crime and anti-social behaviour on our streets. As part of our work to reduce crime, PCCs are using money from the Safer Streets Fund and the Safety of Women at Night Fund to invest in measures such as CCTV, street-lighting, and training for staff working in bars and clubs to make our night-time economy safer for everyone.

“During Alcohol Awareness Week, and as the festive season approaches, we are again reminding people to enjoy themselves safely. PCCs have been working closely with universities in particular to promote responsible drinking among students. No-one is ever to blame for becoming a victim of crime but the fact is excessive alcohol consumption increases risk. We want people to have fun, but to always get home safe.”

He added: “There is particular concern at present about reports of drink-spiking. I encourage anyone who has been a victim to report the incident to police so that it can be investigated.”


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