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 Top honours for Durham Constabulary projects


​A huge well done to our Checkpoint and Philomena Protocol projects who were honoured at the Public Sector Transformation Awards last night.

There were more than 250 applicants for the awards, which celebrate the success of police, councils, fire, and other community services across the UK.

The Philomena Protocol won the gold award in the transformation in health and social care category, which honoured projects that had the greatest impact on customers of health and social care.

Named after the patron saint of babies, infants and youths, the Philomena Protocol was the first of its kind in the country after being introduced by Durham Constabulary at the start of last year.

Working alongside partner agencies, it encourages carers, staff, families and friends to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a young person going missing from care.

The force’s Checkpoint scheme took home the award for UK Police Service of the Year, which honoured the police service that is considered outstanding in the delivery of its services.

The pioneering scheme helps offenders to break the cycle of offending and change their lives by addressing their underlying problems, such as drug and alcohol addiction.

Trial results show that the reoffending rate for those who complete Checkpoint is 15 per cent less than those who were dealt with by other traditional criminal justice methods.

Since the start of the programme, just over 2,500 people have completed the Checkpoint scheme. Following its success, Checkpoint is now being replicated across the country, with similar schemes under consideration in Sussex, Cleveland, North Wales, Surrey and Devon and Cornwall.