The prolific and other priority offenders (PPO) strategy is at the heart of the Government's efforts to reduce crime and disorder. This strategy, which was launched by my right hon. friend the Prime Minister in March 2004, targets not only existing prolific offenders but also those young people who are on the cusp of a prolific offending lifestyle. The strategy has three strands: prevent and deter—to stop young people becoming prolific offenders; catch and convict—tackling those who are already prolific offenders; and rehabilitate and resettle—working to increase the number of offenders who stop offending by offering a range of supportive interventions.
This multi-agency approach to offender management built on, and replaced, the previous persistent offender scheme. Since September 2004 PPO schemes have been established in each Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership area in England and each Community Safety Partnership in Wales. These schemes allow local partners, such as the police, prisons, probation and the local authority to concentrate their joint efforts on monitoring and rehabilitating the relatively small number of people who have been identified locally as causing most harm to their communities.
Over 10,000 existing prolific offenders have been identified by schemes across England and Wales. In addition, about 4,000 young people are likely to be identified as suitable for support as part of the prevent and deter strand. An initial impact evaluation for the strategy is currently underway. Guidance for all three strands, as well as monthly performance management framework reports, can be found on the website http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ppominisite01.htm.