National recognition for Proactive Orders Enforcement Team

Crime / Wed 27th Mar 2024 at 06:58am

THE Proactive Orders Enforcement Team (POET) have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the iESE, a social enterprise that champions examples of innovation in the public sector.

POET apply for and manage criminal and civil orders imposed on offenders, then conduct unannounced checks to ensure the conditions are being complied with.

Offenders are legally required to follow the terms of their orders, and a breach could lead to them being arrested and sent to prison.

POET was formed in mid-2022 to provide a central point for advice and support within the force for order applications and enforcement.

Examples of civil or criminal orders include serious crime prevention orders (SCPO), stalking protection orders (SPO), criminal behaviour orders (CBO), and domestic violence protection notices/orders (DVPN/O). 

The orders can place wide-ranging restrictions on individuals related to the offences they have committed, limiting their ability to reoffend.

POET work closely with teams including DAIT (Domestic Abuse Investigation Team), DAPST (Domestic Abuse Problem Solving Team), MOSOVO (Management of Sexual or Violent Offenders) and Raptor, who combat County Lines drug dealing and gangs. 

As well as helping to speed-up the process and improve the effectiveness of the orders the force applies for, POET officers also identify opportunities where orders can help to protect vulnerable people. 

The team have dealt with more than 400 referrals in less than two years and recently secured a Violent Offender Order (VOO) – the first issued in Essex in more than a decade – against a domestic abuser who was finishing a prison sentence. 

He subsequently breached the order, was arrested and is currently back in prison on remand.

Sergeant Dan Sorrell leads POET and said their work, which has also been recognised as best practice by the College of Policing, is proving effective at preventing crime and keeping the public safe:

“We do everything we can to safeguard people and the orders are a very effective tool. Our job is to increase the application of civil orders across the board – sex offender orders, gang injunctions and serious crime prevention orders – and manage them.

“If we have an investigation where we don’t have enough evidence to charge, we can apply for a civil order that can put conditions on someone, like only allowing them one mobile phone or restricting them from going to certain areas. This impacts their life and is an added layer of protection for potential victims.”

Sgt Sorrell also emphasised the importance of working with partners like the Probation Service to manage individuals at risk of reoffending.

He added: “It’s essential we know when offenders are coming out of prison and what conditions they have. We go through their order with them so if there is a breach, there is no escaping the fact they knew what was expected of them, and what the punishment will be.

“My team are there to make sure orders are being complied with to the letter of the law. We can make unannounced visits and do spot checks at any time. Most offenders are receptive as they don’t want to go to, or return, to prison.”

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