Deferred prosecution scheme celebrates helping 100 clients in 12 months

A scheme run by City Hearts and Merseyside Police that aims to help first time offenders avoid prosecution is celebrating helping 100 clients in its first 12 months.

The Merseyside Deferred Prosecution Scheme (MDPS) is a four-month-long ‘offender management programme’ that was created to help offenders avoid prosecution by addressing some of the underlying issues that led to them being arrested.

The scheme is aimed at young men aged 18-25 who have been arrested for minor offences. They are offered the chance to work with a keyworker in order to get help for issues in their personal life which may have contributed to them getting involved in crimes. If they stay committed to the programme and address these issues, they will not be prosecuted for the original offence.

Stuart Otten of City Hearts, said, “This time last year there wasn’t even a MDPS team in place and we were looking through suitable applicants to be part of something brand new and untried.

“Now, the key-workers we employed 12 months ago have celebrated supporting 100 clients with issues such as trauma, homelessness, poverty, ill health, difficult relationships, and unemployment, amongst others.

“We’ve supported 100 people to turn their lives around for the better and have their futures shaped very differently to how it would have otherwise been.

“Exciting times ahead.”