Partnership work to support veterans already showing signs of success
A partnership between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside (OPCC), HM Forces Veterans support charity programme Project Nova and Humberside Police has shown encouraging signs of success during its first few months of work.
In December 2020 the OPCC provided an additional £48,000 of funding for Project Nova to support Armed Forces Veterans who may have come into contact with the police or criminal justice system.
The funding provides dedicated emotional and practical support services for Veterans1 to help them adapt from military to civilian life.
Since January this year, 57 Veterans were referred by Humberside Police to Project Nova after being arrested for various offences. 37 (65%) engaged positively with the support and to date none have re-offended and no repeat police referrals have been received for those Veterans that engaged with Project Nova. Two Veterans were helped to gain full time employment and one has entered a long-term volunteering opportunity.
Project Nova, delivered in partnership between RFEA - The Forces Employment Charity and Walking With The Wounded, is there to offer help to veterans who have been arrested or deemed vulnerable. It also supports veterans who are referred by specialist police teams (including NHS Liaison and Diversion Teams), or other statutory organisations, because they are at risk of arrest. It focuses on improving social stability, health and wellbeing and employment. This continues through to securing sustainable employment.
Among the specific measures to be supported as part of this funding are:
- Responding early to existing and emerging threat of risk and harm
- Reducing reoffending for those who engage in their services
- Reducing victims and repeated cycle of offending
- Reduce violence amongst veterans before they reach crisis point.
Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison said: “Forces veterans are often found to be within the most vulnerable groups and requiring specialist support which Project Nova provide.
I am pleased to see these early results, it has been an excellent start to this partnership which is helping veterans adjust to civilian life and also reducing offending.”
If you are a HM Forces Veteran in need of support or a family member concerned about someone else, please call 0800 917 7299
Colin Back, National Manager of Project Nova, says: “For most veterans, the move from a Forces career to civilian life is smooth. Sadly, for some veterans, especially those facing issues such as PTSD, housing, debt or addiction, can make the transition to a civilian life less smooth and even spiral into a risk of offending. At Project Nova we understand the specific needs of veterans and can provide the support they need to get their lives back on track. The results we are seeing from our partnership work with Humberside Police are testament to that. We are incredibly grateful for the funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside, as it means we can offer the support vulnerable veterans need to help them turn their lives around.”
Sergeant Shane Jackson, Armed Forces Covenant lead at Humberside Police, said: “We are incredibly proud to be part of a project looking to help veterans who may be struggling with vulnerabilities or complex needs, and are finding it difficult to reintegrate with society.
“It’s important we engage with individuals to provide alternative pathways, as understandably not only does this positively impact their lives, it also impacts the lives of the wider community, in helping to reduce vulnerabilities, domestic and family abuse, and crime levels.
“The more we can do to help, support, and protect those veterans, the better it will be for them, their families and the communities. Reducing the risks of becoming a first time offender or reducing the risks of re-offending is the team’s priority, as prevention is key to having the biggest impact.”
1As defined in the Armed Forces Covenant www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk
Posted on Monday 26th July 2021