A PIONEERING scheme to cut crime was being launched in Kirklees today.
Police are setting up a small unit with the probation service to work with persistent offenders.
The scheme is already being piloted in 15 districts around the country and Chief Insp Nadeem Butt, of Huddersfield police, said he believed Kirklees would benefit.
He said: "The idea is to prevent them from re-offending and integrate them back into mainstream society."
Chief Insp Butt said a small number of persistent offenders committed a disproportionately large amount of crime - so by working closely with them, the unit should be able to tackle problems throughout Kirklees.
He said: "Those people most at risk from re-offending will be picked up when they come out of prison on licence and will be strictly supervised.
"The unit will also offer help and support such as extra drug rehabilitation and educational support.
"If the person re-offends they could be re-called straight back to prison."
He said the approach aimed to give the offender the chance to rehabilitate, but if they did breach the conditions of the scheme or re-offend, positive action would be taken which could include being sent straight back to prison.
Assistant chief probation officer Gini Whitehead said: "The main aim of the probation service is to protect the public by reducing re-offending.
"We hope that this partnership will help us to increase the efficiency of our work by allowing us to focus closely on those persistent offenders who are responsible for a large amount of crime in the area."
The scheme cost about £240,000 and has been funded by the Government's Neighbourhood Renewal Fund through the Kirklees Community Safety Partnership.
Clr Ann Raistrick, chairwoman of Kirklees Community Safety Partnership, said: "The possibilities for success and the consequent improvement in the overall crime levels from this scheme are very encouraging.
"It is well known that a small number of persistent offenders are responsible for much of the crime in our area."