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National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

Extension of pilot phase of screening and development of care pathways for custody suites in 5 police forces in England (Beacon Counselling Trust)


May 2022

Beacon have been working with a number of criminal justice organisations as part of this project across the three partner agencies (BCT, ARA & RCA). Since November 2021 we have been able to engage with the following eight Police Forces: Cheshire Police, Lancashire Police, West Midlands Police, Yorkshire and Humber Police, Gwent Police, Dyfed Police, North Wales Police and Shetlands Police who have participated in 27 'Bet You Can Help' Now workshops with 207 police officers in attendance. The project enagaged a further 18 CJS organisations delivering 23 sessions and engaging with 231 crimininal justice professionals. These organsations included South Gloucester YOS, HMP Leyhill, Dyfed Laision and Diversion Service, Cranstoun Laision and Diversion Service, St Helens Probation, Merseycare Sefton Laision and Diversion Service, Mitie Greater Manchester, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust Liaison and Diversion Service, Leeds Prison, Project Nova, Midlands Regional Group GRH, Renfrewshire Council CJS Social Work & Community Payback, West Dunbarton Council CJS, SACRO, East Lothian / Scottish Borders / Aberdeenshire CJS Teams and Perth and Kinross Public Protection CJS Team. In addtion The Howard League for Penal Reform recently publicised, in the 'Police and Practice' report 2022, and endorsed our programme following a recommendaton by the APCC that all Police Authorities should enrol on this workshop.

October 2021

Beacon Counselling Trust have developed a new education and intervention program for Police Custody suite staff in England, Scotland and Wales, which will be contained with our Criminal Justice System offer. The 'Bet You Can Help' programme (including a criminal justice specific module) will provide, universal, standardised education and screening protocols in the Criminal Justice System, designed to facilitate engagement with the National Gambling Treatment Service.
BCT along with its partners ARA, GREO, Cheshire Police, RSPH, The Howard League, Fast-Forward, Prof David Best and the NHS Collaboratively launched the programme through the delivery of an online webinar that featured the approach being used in addressing Gambling Related Harms with the Criminal Justice System. There were a total of 133 attendees at the event with 89% expressing they were satisfied were that the webinar had increased their awareness of the need to work collaboratively, within the Criminal Justice System, in order to address gambling related harms. Furthermore 84% of the participants declared interest in The 'Bet You Can Help' training programme.

BCT will be holding a Strategic Steering Group engagement event in November and this will be followed by developing a stakeholder partnership to help in the operational delivery of our programme.

April 2021

This project aims to build on the findings from the previous scoping exercise and our work with Cheshire Police to further develop the custody sweet screening model over a much larger geographical footprint.

The programme will now be rolled out to a further 5 Police Forces i.e., Lancashire, Merseyside, Birmingham, Cumbria and Manchester, as well as Cheshire continuing their involvement, in order to take the project to the next level.

We intend to work with these Police Forces over the next three years to develop a model that will be suitable for roll out nationally and we are working with NHS England, Liaison and Diversion services in this regard.

This work will show through the evidence generated and evaluated by GREO, irrefutable outcomes to help shape modelling for future national commissioning.

The first six months of the project will be spent recruiting and developing key partnerships and materials and commencing training sessions with police and a wide variety of criminal justice professionals. The training will uniformly utilise the new OFQUAL Level 2 BET YOU CAN HELP RSPH accredited course previously mentioned.

The establishment of a uniform process of awareness raising and screening for problem gambling across custody suites and the wider criminal justice system is a primary outcome for this piece of work and it is overwhelmingly supported by the Police National Lead for Gambling and Criminality.

November 2020

The preliminary phase of the custody suite pilot has now reported (Q3). This preliminary phase of the custody suite pilot built on existing good and innovative practices from across the UK (specifically the Cheshire Police Pilot) and internationally. This phase involved police forces in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands, Cheshire and Lancashire, to embed problem gambling screening, building up further areas of innovation and good practice from within each force. The aim of this phase was to also ensure capacity building, co-production and the development of a community of practice across the five participating police forces, with engagement with the respective forces in Wales and Scotland for roll-out exploration when appropriate. There was much enthusiasm from the police forces to engage with this pilot, and over 14 forces were engaged with and significant added value and information was delivered through this phase.

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