DIVERT is a unique intervention programme which aims to reduce re-offending. It is delivered in police custody suites across Lancashire including Burnley, Blackpool and Preston, and aims to divert young adults aged 18 – 25 away from crime. The programme was first introduced by the Metropolitan Police in London in 2015 and is now being rolled out across Lancashire.

Specialist Custody Intervention Coaches (CIC) from community clubs across Lancashire engage young adults during their detention in police custody. The CIC leads a development plan to assist the client in fulfilling their own goals, relating to personal development, education, training and employment. Our dedicated CIC is based in Burnley Police Station on a full time basis.

Recognising the needs of young adults that are arrested, this unique programme aims to divert 18-25 year olds into employment, development and education opportunities offered in the community and by Burnley FC in the Community. DIVERT intends to prevent re-offending, have fewer victims of crime and help mitigate areas of vulnerability of young adults that come into police custody.

Inspector Dave Oldfield, Lancashire Violence Reduction Network said:

“The DIVERT programme takes a public health approach to violence by addressing the reasons people offend. It helps young adults to find hope and explore opportunities so that they can improve their circumstances and build a life away from crime.

“Helping young people to make positive changes also improves the lives of their families and their communities. By reducing reoffending, we are also reducing the number of victims of crime. DIVERT has changed the lives of young adults in London and we are confident the programme can achieve the same success here in Lancashire.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:

“Tackling crime and developing safe and confident communities are key priorities for me and this programme has been shown to make a real difference in helping offenders turn their lives around.

“This can only be a good thing as it makes our streets safer and reduces chances of reoffending. I fully support the ‘public health’ approach to violent crime. We continue to lose too many young lives to knife crime and serious violence and it’s crucial that all parts of our society work together to tackle it head-on and make our communities safer.

“Policing alone cannot prevent people offending and that is why I continue to support initiatives that break the cycle offenders all too often find themselves trapped in, moving them away from a life of crime.”

If you have any information about crime in Lancashire, please contact the police on lancashire.police.uk/reportonline, call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For more information on DIVERT, please contact Custody Intervention Coach, Tara Fraser-Bell on T.Fraserbell@burnleyfc.com