Lancashire Reducing Reoffending Boards

The Commissioner supports Lancashire’s Reducing Reoffending Strategy which aims to bring agencies together to work in partnership to reduce reoffending and protect communities in the county. The approach recognises that reducing re-offending is not the responsibility of a single agency; it is essential that all agencies work together in partnership to successfully manage individual offenders, challenging their behaviour and encouraging them to move away from committing further crime and anti-social behaviour.

To support the delivery of this strategy, four local Reducing Reoffending Boards, covering the North, East, South and West of the county, will play a key role in bringing partners together to work on shared priorities. They will also play an important role in setting local priorities and deciding which projects will receive funding and best address the local issues in their communities. These Boards are:

North Lancashire: covering the Lancaster and Morecambe areas

East Lancashire: covering Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, Blackburn with Darwen and the Ribble Valley

South Lancashire: covering Preston, West Lancashire, South Ribble and Chorley

West Lancashire: covering Blackpool, Wyre and the wider Fylde area

These local Boards will feed into the county-wide Strategic Reducing Reoffending Board which will provide the overall direction for the partnership in helping to reduce levels of reoffending and keeping Lancashire safe. The work of all of these Boards will be overseen by an Independent Chair.

Meet the chair – Paul Withers

Appointed in April 2020, Paul brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge around crime, reoffending and the criminal justice system as a former Detective in Lancashire Constabulary.

The role of the Chair is to ensure the running of each local board, and bring this information and insight to the Strategic Reducing Reoffending Board which sits above these.

One of his key responsibilities is ensuring the different Boards link in with the Commissioner’s priorities, as set out in his police and crime plan. The Chair will also identify the key priorities emerging from the local and strategic boards and make recommendations for allocating the Commissioner’s Reducing Reoffending Fund.

Other key responsibilities include maintaining a consistent approach across each local board, providing an objective, independent and experienced overview of work on reducing reoffending and maintaining their strategic direction.

Paul Withers, Independent Chair of the Local Reducing Reoffending Boards said:

“I’m really pleased to take on this important role and it has been great to get started, making a difference across Lancashire and working with other board members to ensure that the work we do links in with the Commissioner’s priorities

“Breaking the cycle of offending is not an easy task and requires a highly coordinated approach, which is why the boards are well placed to identify local issues and bring organisations together.”