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New Covid-19 telephone support line launched

The organisation that supervises low- and medium- risk offenders in south east and south west England, this week opened a new telephone helpline for people on probation worried about the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on areas of their life such as finances, housing and mental health.

KSS CRC set up the advice line for the 19,000 people it supervises to signpost them to services quickly as their circumstances change as a result of the pandemic. It is hoped that by intervening early to offer help, probation workers can ease the pandemic’s impact on areas of offenders’ lives which may drive their criminal behaviour.

The support line is staffed by a dedicated team of skilled and experienced probation workers, some of whom have had their usual work suspended due to restrictions in place as part of the nationwide lockdown. It is in addition to the routine and regular appointments people on probation maintain with their supervising officer.

The service is open every day except bank holidays and available to offenders under KSS CRC supervision, which includes those categorised as low- and medium- risk in south east England (Kent, Surrey and Sussex) and the south west (Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall). Details of how to reach the service have been shared directly with offenders through their supervisors.

KSS CRC Deputy Chief Probation Officer, Cynthia Allen, said:

“This support line will provide the people we supervise with advice they need to tackle the problems they face because of the pandemic. Many of the root causes offending behaviour may be made worse at this time, whether that is down to loss of jobs creating financial stress or anxiety about the future exacerbating anger, mental ill-health or substance misuse issues.

“Early intervention to signpost people to the support available is at the heart of our approach. This will help the people we supervise to make better choices, reduce the likelihood of reoffending and strengthen the safety of everyone in the communities we serve.”

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Notes to editors

1.       Kent Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company Ltd (KSS CRC) works to reduce reoffending and in so doing, improve people’s lives – potential victims as well as perpetrators of crime. KSS CRC works with people who have been sentenced by a court to either custody or community supervision and who are classed as low to medium risk.

2.       KSS CRC is part of the Seetec Group, an employee-owned company.  For further information, please see http://ksscrc.co.uk 

3.       For more information please contact Michael Baker at Eterna Partners on michael.baker@eternapartners.com or +44 (0)7782 398418.