A UNIQUE, new way of dealing with offenders has been rolled out in Trafford.

The intensive community order (ICO) was launched across Greater Manchester’s courts, including Trafford, on June 1 and is a pioneering new approach to managing young offenders.

The intensive community order is a follow-on to the successful intensive alternative to custody (IAC) programme which was launched as a pilot in Manchester and Salford in 2009 and delivered up to 10 per cent better outcomes in reducing reoffending than short terms in prison.

It’s aimed specifically at young, male offenders aged 18 to 25 for whom magistrates, when sentencing, are considering short term custody sentence.

Now a new funding stream means that ICO can be rolled out from Manchester and Salford across all of Greater Manchester. Magistrates in all courts will now have the power to place convicted offenders onto the Intensive Community Order if appropriate.

ICO aims to help young, male adults to face up to their crimes, learn to be responsible for their behaviour, change their attitudes and atone for their wrong-doing.

It blends offender management by probation officers with partners organisations who offer support to the offenders to help them change their lives.

They undertake community payback activities and are offered education, training and employment opportunities along with a range of other forms of support from parenting advice, health and well-being advice, accommodation support, advice and guidance with alcohol and drug problems.

Helen Latham, from Greater Manchester Probation Trust, and ICO manager, said: “ICO aims to rreduce the frequency and gravity of offending, cut down the demands that are placed on the public sector by the behaviours of young adult offfenders and give these offenders the best chance of changing their lives for the better.”

One offender who has been through ICO said: “ICO has helped me. I’ve improved my maths and literacy and I’ve enrolled on a plumbing course. My life was spiraling out of control and now it’s back on track.”