A service aimed at reducing reoffending among vulnerable people is being introduced in Bradford this month.
The Liaison and Diversion (L&D) Service identifies, assesses and refers people with mental health, learning disability, substance misuse and social vulnerabilities when they first come into contact with the youth and adult criminal justice systems.
Funded by NHS England the service is already proving successful in Wakefield and Leeds, having won the prestigious Howard League for Penal reform award for the best Liaison & Diversion service in 2016. It brings together different professions in one team including mental health nurses, police officers and support workers.
It will be based at Trafalgar House Police Station in Bradford and will be delivered by a partnership comprising Wakefield City Council, mental health charity Touchstone, West Yorkshire Police, charities Together Women and Bridge, and Bradford Council youth offending team.
Inspector Kevin Taylor, Partnerships Inspector at Bradford District Police, said:
“We are hoping this will reduce the number of people who are returning time and again to the criminal justice system because they are unable to access the right support.
“By improving access to healthcare and support services for vulnerable people at an early stage we hope to reduce the need for crisis interventions later on.”
The team will work across Bradford’s police stations and at the magistrates’ court.
Clint Hepworth, L&D Service Manager, said: “Our multi-agency team of diverse staff brings together a vast wealth of experience and knowledge.
“We will encourage people to get the help they need to turn their lives around. This will include offering assistance to help people attend appointments and ensuring that they are fully engaged with all the right agencies.”
For further information on the Liaison and Diversion Service please contact Clint Hepworth 01924 304155 chepworth@wakefield.gov.uk