Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1. The Government Equalities Office has made £200k available to support The Whole System Approach – Female Offenders Grant Offending is available within this financial year (with potential to carry over funding into 2016/17). This grant seeks to support areas in developing a joined up, multi agency approach to improve support for female offenders.
1.2. The deadline for bids is 12 January 2016 with successful bidders notified week commencing 18th January 2016.
1.3. The DMPC is required to sign off the intention to bid for grant funding as part of the scheme of the delegation. The DMPC is requested to delegate authority for final sign off and quality control of the bid to the MOPAC COO.
2. Issues for consideration
2.1. The bid will be for funding to contribute to the end to end service for female offenders that MOPAC are jointly commissioning with the London CRC, which is due to be completed by March 2016. The investment will be matched with MOPAC’s contribution of £500,000 to pilot innovation in ten local boroughs to expand the service to additional offenders, with a particular focus on providing a robust package of support (including group work, peer mentoring and enhanced advocacy) for those female offenders at risk of receiving custody sentences and with the objective to reduce reoffending.
2.2. The additional £100k would provide an opportunity to extend the provision with the innovation element both in terms of the cohort but also to provide a longer time frame in which to test impact.
2.3. The criteria for funding includes that projects must commence no later than 31 March 2016 and there will be one single payment. If funds have not been utilised by this date recipients may be able to carry funding into the financial year 2016/17. Application also need to meet five criteria which are specified within the application form attached as APPENDIX 1.
2.4. There are limited risks for MOPAC in that a whole system approach to female offenders is being commissioned with the London CRC and which meets the funding conditions both in terms of the assesment criteria and the spend timeline. The MoJ funding will provide opportunity to increase the scope of the provision, and the current steps taken put MOPAC in a very strong position to meet the requirements as set out by the MoJ.
2.5. Quality control will be managed by COO.
3. Financial Comments
3.1. This report requests approval to bid to the MoJ for £100k of funding, if successful this money will enable an extension to the scope and duration of the current MOPAC pilot of an end to end service for female offenders. The funding is for financial year 2015/16 with the possibility that any unspent funds may be rolled forward into 2016/17.
4. Legal Comments
4.1. Paragraph 4.8 of the MOPAC Scheme of Delegation states that DMPC approval is required for all bids for grant funding.
5. Equality Comments
5.1 MOPAC is required to comply with the public sector equality duty set out in section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010. This requires MOPAC to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations by reference to people with protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
5.2 To ensure maximum impact of this funding whilst ensuring value for money, a targeted approach of use of the funding is required. Female Offenders will be a priority focus due to their bespoke needs and the positive impact that interventions can have on this target group. Female offenders are also an agreed priority for the Reducing Reoffending Board and wider work is being developed to test approaches for providing an enhanced service to females in North and East London. As this pilot is being developed in South and West London it allows for a further approach to reducing female offending to be tested.