Funding by PCC prevents crime by helping offenders to rebuild their lives

Jon Roberts - Director of Dear Albert

A project funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews is preventing crime by helping ex-offenders and those at risk of committing crime make a fresh start in their communities.

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland PCC provided two grants worth almost £20k in total from his Commissioner’s Safety Fund to experienced drug and alcohol recovery specialist Dear Albert.

The funding is delivering a two-part project helping ex-offenders and people at risk of crime across the force area to establish themselves in positive abstinence-based communities to support their recovery from alcohol and drug misuse.

The first element, ‘Fresh Start Through the Gate’, targets offenders leaving prison and other vulnerable people recovering from drug and alcohol use. It delivers a variety of ongoing, peer-led support including a ‘buddy system’ and one-to-one therapy to empower them to live their lives productively. 

So far, the funding has helped 309 ex-offenders who are maintaining abstinence, becoming more involved in the recovery community and are now influencing others with a similar background to achieve the same.

The second project, ‘Fresh Start Recovery’, gives access to positive social networks and abstinence-based recovery communities to people in the criminal justice system recovering from drug and alcohol misuse.

Support includes weekly group meetings, ongoing one-to-one support and counselling, SMS text reminders and regular contact and support from experienced peer recovery workers who use their lived experience of alcohol and drug abuse to help others.  

The project features in a new video on the PCC’s YouTube channel which can be found here:

Mr Matthews said: “These programmes are designed to drive down crime by diverting offenders from criminal behaviour. It is far better to prevent a crime before it happens than to solve it afterwards. I’m really pleased to see the grant funding I’ve invested in these projects providing such positive benefits for these individuals and the wider community.

“We know that drug and alcohol dependency drive many of the crimes in our communities. Tackling the roots of these issues and opening up access to quality, evidence-led recovery support is paramount to helping people to sustain abstinence and rebuild their lives.

“Prevention is a strong theme throughout my Police and Crime Plan. These projects are supporting this important work by surrounding these individuals with the positive social networks and specialist help they need to turn their backs on drug and alcohol and crime in the long-term.” 



Media Enquiries:
Sallie Blair
Better Times
Telephone 01283 821012
Mobile 07702 541401




Posted on Monday 28th August 2023
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