Mayor praises Rochdale community project for its work with women offenders

Mayor praises Rochdale community project for its work with women offenders


Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has praised a Rochdale community project for its work to keep women out of custody and prevent reoffending.

Speaking after his recent visit to the Petrus Hub, Tony said: "Short-term prison sentences for women who have committed less serious crimes can do far more harm than good, and does little to prevent reoffending. Many of these women are victims themselves – of domestic violence and substance abuse – and many have children who will suffer if they are taken to prison for any length of time.

"The work being done by Petrus and other women’s service providers across Greater Manchester is helping to divert women from custody, address the causes behind their offending, and support them to turn their lives around. This is approach is beneficial to the women, their families, and – ultimately – the wider community.

"We’ve started to see some good results since the project began but – more importantly – I have spoken to a number of women who have been supported, including here at Petrus, and I’ve heard from them firsthand just how beneficial this approach can be."

Petrus provides a range of services, including accommodation and/or support to a range of service users. The Petrus Hub is part of an alliance of women’s service providers geared around supporting women offenders, supported by funding from the Justice and Rehabilitation Executive Board (chaired by Tony Lloyd), local probation services and charitable sources. Instead of facing prison sentences, women offenders are made to attend community projects that support them with issues such as domestic abuse, housing and debt problems, mental ill health, substance abuse, and other issues.

Petrus Hub Manager, Julie McDonough, said: "It was a great pleasure to talk to Mr Lloyd about our Project that provides a safe space for women involved at various stages of the criminal justice system, where they can begin to address their needs around domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse. We offer responsive support to address these needs which often contribute to offending behaviour. I know the women were also very appreciative of Mr Lloyd taking the time to visit them."

Greater Manchester’s innovative approach to tackling women offending has been praised nationally, and is already starting to see some excellent results thanks to partnership working between Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, police, probation, health and the voluntary sector.

Between January 15 and March 2016, more than 1,900 women were referred to support, with 88% of those making positive progress in their lives and just 4% re-offending.


Petrus NewsPetrus Women's News   Jun 2016
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