Prolific and Priority Offenders (PPO)

Prolific and priority offenders (PPOs) are persistent offenders who pose their greatest threat to the safety and confidence of their community.  Many of them frequently have drug problems and commit crime to support their drug habit.  It is estimated that out of a million active offenders, 100,000 offenders have three or more convictions and are responsible for half of all crime.

Three Complementary Strands

Prevent and Deter

The primary aim of Prevent and Deter is to work intensively with those young offenders locally identified as being on the 'cusp' of becoming PPOs. The individuals within this Prevent and Deter Target Group will be identified in response to an escalation in their offending and/or the harm they are causing to their communities which - though not yet at a level which would make it appropriate for them to be targeted under Catch and Convict - has led local partners to identify them for management through the multi-agency PPO approach.

The supporting aim is early identification of those children and young people most at risk of becoming involved in criminality so that they can be provided with multi-agency support to positively influence their lives and divert them from an offending lifestyle.

Catch and Convict

A managed multi-agency approach to tackle the offending behaviour of those individuals locally identified as committing most crime and causing most harm to their communities.

Rehabilitate and Resettle

Multi-agency work providing supportive interventions to address the criminogenic needs of identified PPOs. It is important to recognise that there is a dynamic relationship between the Rehabilitate and Resettle and Catch and Convict strands with appropriate activities being conducted across both strands in parallel. The strands are not mutually exclusive and activity is directed by the behaviour and needs of the identified offender - PPOs are offered the opportunity for rehabilitation or face a swift return to the courts.

Building on the Persistent Offender Scheme

The PPO strategy replaced work under the Persistent Offender Scheme. The PPO strategy has significantly improved the approach by allowing local areas to take into account:

  • the nature and volume of the crimes they are committing;
  • the nature and volume of other harm they are causing (for example, by virtue of their gang leadership or anti-social behaviour);
  • other local criteria taking into account the impact of the individual on their local communities.

This will identify those individuals who are the most prolific offenders, the most persistently anti-social in their behaviour, and those who pose the greatest threat to the safety and confidence of their communities.

Partnerships - Role of Crime and Disorder Reduction (CDRPS)

The strategy is led by the CDRP, with schemes set up to cover every CDRP in the country. The emphasis is a multi-agency approach with Police, CPS, Prisons and Probation working together, with Local Criminal Justice Board coordination, to effectively catch, convict, monitor and manage these offenders in the community and custody and effectively rehabilitate them.

For further information, visit the Crime Reduction section of the Home Office website.


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