Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner launches project helping females in criminal justice system
Lincolnshire's police and crime commissioner is launching a project aimed to prevent women and girls being swept into the criminal justice system.
After reviewing the services available to women and girls, the commissioner is launching a partnership across the county.
Marc Jones, the police and crime commissioner said: "Women told us that their traumatic experiences in childhood had resulted in them getting involved in crime with disastrous outcomes for themselves and others.
“This is backed up by research showing that most women in the criminal justice system have been the victims of greater crimes than those for which they were arrested.
"Their victimisation was, of course, predominantly at the hands of men.
“The failure to adopt mental health and trauma informed approaches has led women and girls to experience further traumatisation through arrest, trial, and imprisonment where suffering, self-harm and suicide are all too frequent.
“We cannot allow this to continue and the strategy is aimed at supporting women and girls and in the process their families too.”
Research shows that isolation, family problems, debt, addiction and untreated mental health problems is forcing too many women and girls into a criminal activity.
The review showed that once caught up in criminal activity there was a lack of support to help the victims turn their life around and avoid being sucked into the criminal justice system.
Work on developing the strategy was informed by the voices of four Lincolnshire women who had experience of the criminal justice system.
They were interviewed confidentially by women academics from the University of Lincoln.
Representatives from organisations across the county including the NHS, councils and the police have now signed the Lincolnshire Concordat – a document committing them to work together to improve outcomes for Lincolnshire women and girls.
The strategy includes examining the creation of a sustainable women’s centre and creating a focus on early intervention services.
Statistics show that the peak offending age of women is just 15-years-old compared to men at 23.
Martyn Parker, assistant director of public protection at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “The Lincolnshire Women’s Strategy is an opportunity to improve the lives of all women and girls within Lincolnshire.
"The fact the basis of the strategy is informed by the lived experiences of women who have previously been through the criminal justice system is a huge step forward.
"We are committed to supporting the delivery of the strategy, with our partners and focusing on preventing women and girls entering the criminal justice system in the first place”.
If you would like to view the full strategy, you can find see it here.