PSNI claim successs in bid to deal with ‘prolific’ criminals

Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields

Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields

AN initiative set up to tackle prolific offenders in Fermanagh – who commit crimes including robberies and burglaries – has been delivering results right across the county, it has been claimed.

Reducing Offending in Partnership (ROP), a Northern Ireland wide approach to managing priority or prolific offenders, is managing 28 offenders across Fermanagh, Dungannon, Cookstown and Omagh.


The partnership between the Probation Board for Northern Ireland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Prison Service and the Youth Justice Agency aims to tackle prolific offenders who commit crime such as robberies, burglaries or thefts and who impact most upon the community.

Commenting on the approach Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields, pictured, said: “Across Northern Ireland there are 371 priority offenders being managed under Reducing Offending in Partnership by Reducing Offending Units (ROU), which operate in policing districts. Of these 371 priority offenders, 306 are adults and 65 are young persons.

“In Fermanagh, Cookstown, Dungannon and Omagh the ROU manages 28 offenders.

“These individuals could be at various stages of the process. A number may have been sentenced, some will be on remand, others will be on bail and the remainder will be monitored under ROP within the community or on licence.

“For example, of the 371 offenders being managed across Northern Ireland, 13.5 per cent are currently sentenced, 22% are on remand 22% are on bail and 42.5% are being monitored under ROP within the community or on licence.

“By sharing information and maintaining daily contact with partners, offenders are managed more effectively.

“The fact that one officer is assigned to the offender assists in this process.


“That officer will be aware of the offender’s history, they will attend all court proceedings relating to the person, make representation for bail conditions, ensure bail checks happen and meet with representatives from other agencies to discuss progress and options.”

Discussing the strands of Reducing Offending in Partnership, Patricia McKeever, Area Manager Rural West, of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland said: “We know a small number of offenders commit a large proportion of all crime in Northern Ireland.

“ROP is therefore about concentrating on those offenders who have the most disproportionate effect on crime, the fear of crime and perceptions of community safety.

“Through the three strands of this approach resources from each agency are directed where they are most needed – on the top offenders who commit the most crime. The evidence shows that this approach is working to reduce crime and keep communities safer”.

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