Northants crime commissioner invests in child support team

Stephen Mold
Stephen Mold

A new team to support children and families will be created in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner Stephen Mold is setting up an Early Intervention/ACEs support team.

Mr Mold is investing almost £1million over three years to establish team of up to seven staff who will work alongside Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire County Council teams to identify families in difficulty at an early stage and step-in to offer support.

The is being established following extensive work with partner agencies to understand the challenges facing services and to identify any gaps in the support available to families.

Mr Mold said that that preventing crime and protecting people from harm can only be achieved by all of the agencies working together.

He said: “We want to reduce crime and create a safer Northamptonshire, where everyone has the chance of a successful life and to do that, we need to create an environment where our children get to truly fulfil their potential.

“That can only be achieved by us working together with partners such as health, education, social services and families themselves.

“And we can’t just enforce crime down, we need to work together to prevent it.

“We need to do that by intervening at the earliest opportunity to tackle the root causes of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“That is why I am investing in this new service.

“There are families in Northamptonshire who are struggling and where we can see what will happen if they are not offered support.

“The new Early Intervention Team will ensure that those conversations happen so that we are helping families and children who need it and reducing the costs to policing and other organisations in the longer term.”

The team will bring additional capacity to advise and support organisations working with families that may be struggling.

The team with share information and problem-solving so that it is more likely that support will be offered early on.

The new team will also offer direct support to families on parenting and managing behaviour, as well as advising on more specialist support if required.

Offering support at the earliest opportunity can reduce the harm being caused to children and make it less likely that they will become involved in crime and offending behaviour in the future.

National and local research clearly shows that adverse experiences in childhood (ACEs) directly affect someone’s life chances and make them much more likely to become involved in crime.

ACEs range from sexual or physical abuse and neglect to growing up in a family with domestic violence, mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse or imprisonment.

In Northamptonshire, the estimated costs of intervening late with families in difficulty is £199million.

According to research from the Early Intervention Foundation, in 2014/15 around a third of that total (£59.5 million) was spent on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, with a further £3million spent on dealing with youth substance abuse and £63million on child protection and safeguarding.

By stepping in to offer support to a family as soon as problems start to appear – whichever agency identifies the problems - the Early Intervention Team will tackle the root causes of crime and offending, reduce the costs to policing and the county as a whole, and give a child hope for a better future.

Recruitment to the Early Intervention team is currently underway at www.jobsgopublic.com/vacancies and it is hoped that it will be up and running by the autumn.