Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has backed a new scheme to prevent crime which will see dedicated employment support handed to those trying to turn their back on criminality.

The Commissioner’s flagship preventing crime project will see newly released prisoners supported back into full time employment to reduce reoffending across Northumbria.

Employment upon an individual’s release is one of the biggest contributors in reducing re-offending as it provides them with much needed stability and keeps them from returning to familiar paths of criminality.

The scheme was set up as Government data shows nearly half of prison leavers re-offend. Newcastle based The Recruitment Junction, will work alongside the PCC’s Violence Reduction Unit, with an aim to provide support for up to 150 individuals in the first year with the expectation that 50% will secure employment in that period.

Securing employment upon release is not only crucial to reducing reoffending, but also to reducing the £15 billion cost of reoffending that falls to taxpayers.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness said: “I made a commitment to reduce reoffending, and this is exactly what my Violence Reduction Unit and The Recruitment Junction are doing. Providing newly released prisoners with support into full time employment not only benefits the individual but their family, community and the wider public, with the aim of preventing crime in our region.”

The Recruitment Junction work with an individual to support them in anything from writing a CV, to preparing a disclosure note, sourcing clothes for an interview and helping with transport – all of which are vital to the process of securing employment.

The Recruitment Junction have supported over 70 ex-offenders into employment in the past 12 months in industries such as construction, hospitality and administration.

Ms McGuinness added: “This is a local solution to a much bigger problem and the success of The Recruitment Junction’s employment support so far speaks volumes in reducing re-offending. We will continue to work locally to provide support for individuals to enable them to make positive decisions for the future.”

Director of The Recruitment Junction, Beverley Brooks said: “I am excited to have launched the North East’s first recruitment agency for people with convictions – and am thrilled to count 70 men and women moved into paid work since October 2020 – and to see 90% keeping these jobs and thriving.”

She added: “The Recruitment Junction sees people with convictions rediscover a sense of purpose through work and become role models who drive positive generational impact across their families – breaking the cycle of children following parents down the wrong path. We deliver on skills shortages for employers across the North East, we combat persistent regional unemployment and we contribute to a national reduction in re-offending, with fewer victims of crime.”

For more information please contact the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit by email