12:30pm Thursday 15th August 2013
By Scott D'Arcy
WILTSHIRE Police are set to cast the net wider for criminals who refuse to mend their ways and continue to plague the town’s law-abiding citizens.
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Pat Geenty said his officers would be ‘relentless’ in their pursuit and monitoring of repeat offenders who they say are responsible for the majority of crime.
Under his ‘force delivery plan’, Mr Geenty is expanding the Swindon and Wiltshire integrated targets for change (SWITCH) programme already run by the force to include regular and repeat offenders who commit burglary, theft and robbery.
As an indicator of the scheme’s success, the force will have the target of reducing serious theft offences countywide, which include vehicle crime and burglary, to below 6,911 incidents in 2013/14 from 7,894 in 2012/13.
“We will put extra resources into managing a bigger group of offenders rather than just the most prolific,” Mr Geenty said.
Under the priority of reducing reoffending, the police are set to develop their involvement in the troubled families initiative, identify serial violent offenders and repeat domestic abusers.
Mr Geenty said: “The evidence suggests that relatively few offenders are responsible for the majority of crime.
“So it makes sense to identify and focus our attention on these prolific offenders. We already participate in an integrated offender management scheme with other partners, but I intend to strengthen this approach.
“I will ensure that Wiltshire Police is robust in dealing with these individuals.
“Those who cannot be diverted from committing crime will be pursued and brought to justice. Our attention on these offenders will be relentless.
“We will dedicate resources to ensure early intervention with troubled families.
“This will mean added costs at the outset, in terms of staff and time to allow the scheme to flourish, but with the ultimate aim that our investment will result in reduced demand and safer neighbourhoods.
“And we will make effective use of SWITCH Plus scheme in the identification of serial perpetrators of violence and domestic abuse serial perpetrators to help manage all the offenders who ‘cause harm’ or ‘continue to offend’.”
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