New unit aims to combat offending

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A new multi agency unit aimed at tackling the most prolific offenders has been set up in the north west.

The Reducing Offending Unit brings together police, the probation service, youth justice and other agencies involved in the management of offenders and utilises a three stranded approach that aims to ‘prevent and deter’, ‘catch and control’ and rehabilitate and resettle ‘ offenders.

PSNI Detective Sergeant O’Brien says the new unit focuses on the offender rather than on crime.

“Our unit have identified a number of offenders from across Foyle, Strabane, Limavady and Magherafelt who are causing the most harm within the local communities,” he says.

“The identified offenders are then closely monitored in a number of different ways - by carrying out frequent bail checks, monitoring the behaviour of individual criminals and where we suspect they have been involved in further crime carrying out searches of their person and their property.”

The first strand, ‘prevent and deter’ aims to reduce crime involving young people through early identification and effective intervention strategies.

‘Catch and Control’ is a pro-active approach by police and partner agencies against those individuals who persist in their offending behaviour. ‘Rehabilitate and Resettle’ is a joint approach by all agencies to provide a gateway out of crime.