More Support For Military Veterans In Police Custody

1 July 2014, 12:19 | Updated: 1 July 2014, 13:01

A trial project is being launched to give more support to veterans who have committed crimes.

Project Nova is an 18-month trial that sees RFEA The Forces Employment Charity, Walking with the Wounded, Norfolk and Suffolk Police Force, Anglia Ruskin University and Forces in Mind Trust working together to support veterans who have committed crimes.

It'll provide advice, guidance and support to veterans using a network of military charities and organisations in Norfolk and Suffolk to come up with solutions for some of the most common problems they face.

The project claims the number of veterans offending is on the rise, they say some of the reasons behind this include housing problems, debt, anger issues and mental health problems. 

Anglia Ruskin University will also be doing research to monitor how successful the support is and to come up with new ideas as to how to tackle the issues.

Colin Back is coordinating the project: “The rehabilitation process back into the community is sometimes not an easy one, Veterans deserve all the support they can get – Project Nova will provide assistance, advice and continued support after release from police custody, to both the Veteran and their family, and it is fantastic how supportive Norfolk and Suffolk Police Force have been regarding the project.

"What makes my job so worthwhile are the emails and cards I get from time-to-time, telling us how much we helped and saying thank you. The word Nova means “new beginnings”, and that’s exactly what we want to help these Veterans achieve”.

Jenny McKibben, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk said: We were delighted to pilot Project Nova in Norfolk for an initial three months under the guidance of our Veterans Coordinator in the PCC office. This successful project now continues to run In Norfolk following funding secured from Walking With The Wounded and Forces In Mind Trust.

"Veterans can struggle to overcome challenges presented to them and may find themselves coming into contact with the criminal justice system. Project Nova offers veterans and their families help with integration back into civilian life and we are pleased to support such a beneficial initiative."