PCC says it's time to break the cycle of crime
The Police and Crime Commissioner is urging firms in the
West Midlands to employ more people with a criminal
David Jamieson wants companies and public sector
organisations to reach out and give a second chance to those who
have potentially served time behind bars.
He believes if crime is to be cut and taxpayers money saved
then individuals with a chequered past must be offered a chance to
rehabilitate into society. One of the best ways for them to do that
is to find work.
If reoffending could be reduced then it would save taxpayers
in the region millions of pounds in policing, prison and legal
What's more, the PCC says employers are missing out on a big
pool of untapped talent.
The Commissioner is so passionate about the issue that he is
making it a theme at his upcoming Business Summit
(16th Jan) and believes it is one of
the ways rising crime levels can be tackled.
According to the Office for National Statistics around 29%
of people who have been released from custody, received a
non-custodial conviction or were handed a caution go on to
However, a government study in 2013 found that offenders who
landed a job within a year of being released from prison were up to
10 percent less likely to reoffend than criminals who were
unemployed for that time.
One company, which is a trailblazer in this area, is RMF
Construction, based in the West Midlands. The firm was set up
nearly four years ago and helps train people with a conviction to
work in the construction sector.
It has so far trained more than 200 people at all levels of
the construction industry and proudly watched them go on to get
jobs in the sector.
RMF Construction also trains inmates in prisons so they can
acquire the skills they'll need to get a job once they have served
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David
Jamieson, said: "Whilst it is paramount that criminals are caught
and justice is done, we must keep pushing to break the cycle of
"We know that if an individual can find work then they are
much less likely to reoffend.
"I want to see 100s of organisations start doing what RMF
Construction does already and employ people with a criminal
"Organisations should think seriously about the untapped
potential of employing people who are desperate to turn their life
around and make amends for the poor decisions they've made in the
"What's more, we all have a responsibility to help lower
crime levels and this is a really good, practical way we can do
RMF Construction's Operations Manager, Dara McCarthy, said:
"As a firm we have employed more than 200 people with a criminal
record and trained many more within prisons so they are equipped to
apply for jobs in the construction sector when they are
"I know how hard it is for these people to find work after
they leave prison. Many of them feel they have repaid their debt to
society and all they want is to get their life back on
"The problem is few employers are prepared to give them a
"RMF Construction hopefully goes some way to helping these
individuals find work and stay out of a cell."