Police send festive message to criminals

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Don’t be a Turkey this Christmas


The Message to offenders from West Midlands Police is simple over the festive season  don’t be a turkey this Christmas!  

The force is hand delivering Christmas cards to prolific offenders encouraging them to stay away from crime over Yuletide.

The cards form part of the force’s twelve days of Christmas campaign – featuring a range of crime prevention advice as well as reaching out to offenders to try to help them make a fresh start.    

In addition to spreading key crime prevention advice each Christmas the force takes the opportunity to engage with offenders via a specially designed Christmas card.  

This year’s Christmas cards are being distributed to every persistent offender over the coming days  and come in two varieties. 

The first card is a play on words encouraging offenders to think about their actions and to not be foolish by ruining their own or someone else’s Christmas.  

The card features the image of a turkey on the front with the simple message “Don’t be a turkey this Christmas”.

Messaging on the back urges them not to miss out on another Christmas and urges them to break the pattern of offending.  The overall message is to move away from crime and seek help to make a fresh start.

The second card whilst still offering offenders help to make a fresh start acts as a timely reminder that the force has its eyes on career criminals.    

The force works with prolific and priority offenders (PPOs) all year round and this festive greeting is just one of a myriad of interventions used by the force to engage with and encourage offenders to make a positive change.

This targeted approach by the force has seen the number of PPOs drop and has significantly reduced the impact their offending has on local communities.  

ACC Garry Forsyth, force lead for offender management, said: “These cards are a really powerful engagement tool for us to start a discussion on how we can help offenders to break the vicious circle of repeat offending.  

“They act as a reminder that we can actually help and support them in their efforts to move away from crime, whether that is by helping them find housing or get help with a drug addiction.

“The reality is a stark one though and if they do not seek to make a positive change and take   the help offered they could face Christmas in custody.”

Offender Management teams in the West Midlands work with PPOs in the community who have criminal histories which may include burglary, robbery and vehicle-related offences, as well as some who are members of organised crime groups.

These teams deal with individuals, groups and families continuously assessing the level of risk they pose to local communities. They receive regular visits from local officers often a knock at the door with the offer of help and support but sometimes via the execution of a warrant if intelligence suggests they are re-offending.

PPOs are regularly given opportunities to seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, advice on housing and benefit issues.  They are also given access to educational opportunities.  

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