This page includes overviews of the pathways our service offers.
These are specifically catered to each vulnerability to ensure each client gets the best help.

POLIT Pathway

West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion Service have developed a specific pathway for those individuals arrested for downloading indecent images of children.

This pathway was developed by Liaison and Diversion alongside West Yorkshire Police and their Police Online Investigation Team following Operation Notarise in 2014.  The findings of this investigation showed that these individuals are a highly vulnerable group at high risk of suicide. This emphasised the importance of needing a consistent and standardised approach to be able to manage the risk of these individuals in terms of suicide, allowing for potential further suicides to be managed.

The POLIT pathway provides support to the police in managing the self-harm/suicide risk; providing community support and if charged, court support. Our service will refer and signpost into services relevant to support needs, taking into account individual vulnerabilities. It involves liaising with health care professionals and providing emotional practical support. As part of this, we have also established referral pathways with organisations that support in reducing/managing harmful and unhealthy sexual behaviours, whilst reducing the impact of male crisis. Our service will also monitor the trigger points throughout the investigation to ensure support is offered at the most crucial times.

The pathway has also been successful at The Howard League Awards in which it won under the category of policing and adults.

“Initially when I was offered support I wasn’t sure how it would support me. Liaison and Diversion has been fantastic and helped me engage in other services. When I was in contact with the police the support was invaluable and I cant thank you enough for the guidance you have given me.”

April 2020

PSW Pathway

The Peer Support Worker was developed within West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion and has been key to the future career prospects to those who have chosen to work with us.

The peer support team support complex clients that can be hard to reach and hard to engage by using their experiences of the criminal justice system and other services. This invaluable quality that peer support workers have has served to enhance the service and provided the opportunity for colleagues to better understand the challenges that service users face and is now embedded across West Yorkshire.

The West Yorkshire Liaison & Diversion team is constantly looking to improve its peer support package and there are plans for the pathway to grow, with extra training and plans to take on more volunteers.

Our Peer & Volunteer team works to recruit and train potential volunteers with lived experience with an accredited peer mentor training programme.

Our service has recently undertaken and been awarded the Lived Experience Charter. We have gained the Silver Award for supporting people with lived experience of the criminal justice system into employment. The Lived Experience Charter is led by Career Matters and commissioned by NHS England, Health & Justice.

The Lived Experience Charter has enabled us to:

  • Demonstrate our commitment to employing people with lived experience of the criminal justice system;
  • Provide opportunities for people with lived experience;
  • Increase job roles for people with lived experience;
  • Demonstrate that we have implemented the Lived Experience; Charter Values, Standards and Practices.

“Not only have you supported me throughout, you have supported my friends by giving me the knowledge and confidence to help them”

April 2021

Veteran Pathway

West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion developed a specific pathway for veterans to support them when coming into contact with the criminal justice system. We work closely together with partners in the National Health Service, Royal British Legion, and other armed force services to ensure we support veterans with their specific needs and vulnerabilities. The pathway has implemented specific veteran leads in each of our teams who have attended training and work closely with veterans.

In addition, our service works closely with partners in the police, ex-military, third sector services such as Project Nova to build an understanding about how to work with veterans in custody and how to better engage them. We have worked alongside the partners to increase awareness of identifying veterans in custody by creating posters that identify with veterans and encourage them to work with the service. We have also worked to encourage police in custody suites to ask detained persons if they are veterans and then refer them into our service.

“You’ve changed me in the most positive way ever. I feel stronger each day, you have given me a reason to survive now.  Thank you for providing me with a second chance at living I have strong support with you which encourages me to be strong too”

April 2021

Female Pathway

West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion has a well-established female pathway which is nationally recognised, as an example of good working practice. Our service has a team of dedicated female specialist practitioners, with a representative in each of the locality teams.

Our female practitioners also use the local Women’s Centres as an outreach basis to ensure women are seen in a safe, women only, environment and use a trauma informed approach when assessing the holistic needs of women. This also gives them the opportunity to introduce women to the interventions available within the Centres to help divert them away from the criminal justice system.

A gender specific pathway to support women referred into the service was developed in response to results from research highlighted in the Cortson report, and our experience to date. The research stated that women in contact with the criminal justice system respond better within female focused environments, and that the nature of the offences committed by females – and the reasons behind these offences – are often quite different to those of males.

“The best thing that ever happened to me was getting arrested as I now feel I have the support I have always been asking for”

April 2021

Youth Pathway

At West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion, Practitioners specialised in working with young people are positioned across all of our teams aiming to produce the best possible outcomes and better futures for young people who come into contact with the Criminal Justice System.

Young people can present with complex needs that can contribute to their offending behaviour, for example; breakdown of family relationships, emotional health needs, learning difficulties, substance misuse, problems in school and peer influences.

When a young person commits an offence or is referred to us through the police, Safer Schools Officers or other agencies, a project worker will complete a holistic assessment in a safe environment utilising a signs of safety approach, a support plan will be agreed, and referrals to appropriate services will be made.

Additional funding provided by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit enables the Liaison and Diversion Service to deliver a Custody Diversion Project, focusing on criminal exploitation and knife crime. The project approach uses professional workers with lived experience of the criminal justice system to equip young people with the skills to think critically, assess risk and make better life choices, making them more resilient to the risks of becoming involved in gangs, exploitation and violence.

We are also working in partnership with Invictus Wellbeing to deliver therapeutic interventions, supporting young people and children who have been through the criminal justice system (CJS), or are at risk of being involved with the CJS. This specialist mental health and wellbeing pathway has been very successful in our Calderdale and Kirklees teams.

“Although I initially didn’t think I needed this support. It has been really supportive and would recommend it.”
June 2020

Male Pathway

The aim of the Male Pathway is to support male clients away from the Criminal Justice System and refer them into the most appropriate support services to improve health and social outcomes. The pathway assists with accessing support with housing, welfare benefits, substance misuse, specialist alcohol services, debts/finances, mental health, physical health, digital poverty, and education & training to name but a few targeted vulnerabilities.

Our support workers refer into services such as;

Engage Leeds – This is a city-wide service that provide housing support to the people of Leeds. They can help with preventing you from losing your home, Support you to live sustainably independently or in your current home, and offer support with integration if you feel isolated and want to get more involved in activities and your community.

Andy’s Man club – This is a Mental Health Charity based across England and Wales. The charity provide support and encourage men to talk about their mental health problems. The charity focus on the stigma that is held over Men’s heads around weakness, vulnerabilities and embarrassment relating to mental health problems, and are working hard to tackle this.

The club began a few years ago in the small town of Halifax. Originally 9 men attended the group session and spoke about their lives. This grew and has now reached 28 locations (and is still growing).

Cruse – This is a national charity that provides Bereavement support to people who live in England and Wales. They provide emotional support for people who are struggling with loss.

The charity offer support through trained professionals in a number of ways:

  • Virtual face to face call (Held over a virtual platform like Zoom, Teams or other)
  • Telephone support
  • Email – this way those who are struggling can type out their feelings and send off. This can be more effective for some
  • The charity have also introduced a live chat function, where you can chat to a trained professional like you would you friend over text.

“thanks very much, it’s actually made me feel a little better reading something that is talking about me in an understanding and reasonable way rather than a critical one”.

September 2020