Launch of Plan B, a custody navigator initiative with South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit

This week marks the launch of Plan B, a custody navigator initiative that aims to support and guide those detained in custody.

Working in partnership with South Yorkshire Police Violence Reduction Unit, Plan B will involve experienced custody navigators from City Hearts engaging with individuals in custody from the point of arrest. The initiative aims to reduce offending rates and violence, whilst also helping individuals realise and work towards their goals and aspirations.

City Hearts has supported individuals with a criminal background for over three years, through our About face programme and Forging Ahead employment programme.

About Face offers support to those who are at risk of, or have been involved in the criminal justice system, with a view to help them escape the cycle of crime. This is based on the Pathways to Offending model. We address issues such as homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, debt and benefit issues, and health concerns, but primarily we provide counselling services.

Stuart Otten, City Hearts About Face Project Manager said: “After a number of years of supporting individuals involved in criminal activity, we look forward to working in partnership with the SYPCC Violence Reduction Unit, to offer support and guidance to individuals from the point of arrest.

“Our aim is to build relationships that help individuals realise and reach their personal goals and aspirations, whilst also looking to explore what has happened in their past, and whether this has contributed to the situation they currently find themselves in.”

Joint Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, Temporary Superintendent Lee Berry said: “We are really excited to have the opportunity to get the Plan B Custody Navigators started here at Shepcote Lane Police Station.

“The custody navigators will support and listen to those arrested and detained in custody.  They will look to understand how they have become involved in criminality and provide help and support.  This support will continue once they leave custody to help steer them away from criminality.

“Plan B is not an alternative to the criminal justice system and proceedings will continue accordingly. The scheme is a life choice for the individual who is trapped in crime.”