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Fresh acclaim for Chapelfield Shopping Centre’s pioneering scheme to cut crime and re-offending

PUBLISHED: 17:49 25 June 2012

Davina Tanner, general manager at Chapelfield Shopping Centre, who with Prison officer Dave Damerell has started the award winning Custody and Community Manpower Scheme at Chapelfield. Picture: Denise Bradley

Davina Tanner, general manager at Chapelfield Shopping Centre, who with Prison officer Dave Damerell has started the award winning Custody and Community Manpower Scheme at Chapelfield. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant copyright 2011

A pioneering Norwich business scheme to help cut crime and re-offending has been given the thumbs up for the second time in a prestigious award scheme.

Chapelfield Shopping Centre’s highly acclaimed Custody and Community Project has retained its Big Tick status in Business in the Community’s (BITC) 2012 Awards for Excellence.

The Awards recognise the powerful and positive role that business plays in local communities by recognising companies who demonstrate leadership on key social and environmental issues. Other winners included May Gurney, Dalehead Foods and City College Norwich.

The Chapelfield Custody and Community Project aims to break the cycle of crime by reducing the level of re-offending among inmates at Norwich and Blundeston prisons.

Practical, real life work experience and training opportunities are provided aimed at helping offenders to secure permanent jobs while on licence so they have a real alternative to crime on release.

The scheme first won a Big Tick for the first time in 2011. Originally designed to be an 18 month scheme, its success means it has now been running for 34 months with 82 of the 118 inmates (72pc) enrolling on the programme securing full time work, well above the national average of 26pc.

Davina Tanner Chapelfield’s general manager, who set up the scheme in 2009, said: “We are delighted that the Big Tick award our Custody and Community Project achieved has been reaccredited, recognising the continued commitment we have to achieving a positive impact on society.

Stephen Howard, chief executive, Business in the Community said Chapelfield has proved it can have a positive impact on society and people without losing focus on its business.

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