HMICFRS: A joint thematic inspection of Integrated Offender Management (May 2020)
Response from: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire
While Hampshire Constabulary was not a part of this thematic inspection, we value the findings and outcomes, and any learning points on which we can implement. The most persistent and problematic offenders require substantial intervention and management jointly by partner agencies, this in turn helps keep our communities safer.
The integrated offender management (IOM) approach has been described by the inspection as ‘disappointing’. We recognise and agree with the challenges faced by the IOM approach in broadening the “scope of many schemes to cover high risk of harm as well as prolific offender cases. In Hampshire we reviewed and amended our IOM criteria to:
- Serious Acquisitive Crime
- Domestic Abuse
- Emerging Threat Offenders
As a result, the IOM scheme now manages more complex cases and this had an effect on suitability of IOM clients for example moving into an IOM house. However, we currently consider including ‘domestic abuse’ to have been a positive change and are working closely with all providers to adjust the service accordingly.
While a key role of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to help keep our communities safe, we play a part in this partnership approach to reducing reoffending. The OPCC provides funding opportunities to services to reduce offending, offering diversion activities and upskilling those to engage in a positive lifestyle. It is important to acknowledge the higher prevalence of need amongst female offenders, such as mental health problems and self-harm. Many experience chaotic lifestyles which are often the product of a life of abuse and trauma; almost 60% of female offenders have experienced domestic abuse.
Police and Crime Commissioners should:
- Assure themselves that all relevant partners and services are involved in the delivery of IOM, as a major contribution to reducing reoffending and community safety.
The IOM partnership is extensive and co-located. This network is reviewed to ensure all relevant sectors and organisations are included in the joint approach to help keep our communities safer while supporting people to live crime free lives. Our key partners include the OPCC (as a commissioner of the IOM outreach service and IOM houses), the CRC, NPS, Hampshire Constabulary, the Society of St James and wider partners including Housing, mental health and domestic abuse support services.
Chief Constables, National Probation Service Divisional Directors and Community Rehabilitation Company Chief Executive Officers should:
- Define their IOM operating model and produce practice guidance that sets out clearly what is required by each agency at every stage of the IOM supervision process
IOM is reported quarterly through the reducing offending sub group of the LCJB. Through the role of scrutiny, the OPCC will continue to monitor how the force works with the IOM scheme locally, reporting into the Local Criminal Justice Board where necessary.
- Improve the quality and accuracy of recording in IOM cases, in particular, the activity relating to public protection
We constantly review how we can evolve and improve commissioned services and partnership activity. The quarterly data captured relating to IOM is detailed and measured against each of the 7 pathways of offending, as well as connections with each IOM client and domestic abuse and mental health. This is in addition to a number of outputs, supplemented by a quarterly case study and a report from the provider. In Hampshire we also capture quarterly police data relating to the wider IOM service and track cohorts of IOM clients. Again through the role of scrutiny, the OPCC will continue to monitor IOM case data through our Performance and Information team, ensuring where there is a need for improvement, these are raised with the relevant force leads.
- Analyse training needs and ensure that all staff receive sufficient training to enable them to fulfil their duties. Training in public protection, safeguarding children and working with vulnerable adults should be prioritised
The training provided to those frontline IOM officers highlights the value of investment for this challenging role. We will continue to review training practices, ensuring that those who need all relevant training to fulfil their duties are able to access it. For example, the OPCC commissioned service provider has been trained in ACEs and being trauma aware. Senior Managers are undergoing training to take this to the next level through becoming ‘Trauma Informed Educators’ or ‘TIEs’, this will give those trained the skills to make cultural changes and ensure policies and practices reflect a trauma informed approach.
- Ensure that service users are kept informed, as much as possible, about the benefits of inclusion in IOM, the support available and the monitoring and information-sharing ramifications of IOM supervision.
From a policing perspective engagement and clarity throughout the IOM process is essential. Police officers build a rapport with offenders on the IOM scheme to allow for two-way communication. Any challenges are monitored through the IOM partnership, of which the OPCC is a key partner. The commissioned provider also supports IOM clients to define their own positive goals and steps to achieve them. The ‘voice’ of IOM clients is regularly captured and considered extremely valuable in making improvements to the service. For example, the IOM houses have regular house meetings to listen to residents and collectively agree improvements. Service users give their permission for case studies to be widely promoted. If this is not specified on a case study, that information is not shared.