GM Liaison and Diversion Service
Our Greater Manchester Integrated Healthcare Liaison and Diversion Service offer friendly and non-judgemental support for people with vulnerabilities who come in contact with the criminal justice system across Greater Manchester.
We offer support to people who may require extra help through the criminal justice process and help to access care and community services.
We can work with you to provide information to the police, courts, probation and youth justice services so that they know about any vulnerability you have.
We support people in custody, magistrates and Crown Court to ensure anyone involved with the criminal justice system with vulnerability is appropriately supported and has their health and care needs met. This may include helping them to engage or re-engage with relevant services to tackle things such as mental health and wellbeing issues, housing, substance misuse and/or debt.
By helping people tackle the underlying causes of their offending behaviour, the likelihood of reoffending can be significantly reduced. This does not mean that someone will avoid appropriate sanctions but it does mean that the process is better informed and access to appropriate services and support for people with identified vulnerabilities is improved.
What we offer
- Screening to identify wider vulnerabilities whilst someone is detained in police custody or courts
- Advice to custody and court staff on how to support an individual and their presenting needs throughout the criminal justice process
- Information gained from assessments with consent can shared with relevant criminal justice agencies to enable key decision makers to make more informed decisions on diversion, charging, case management and sentencing.
- Liaison with other agencies which may be working with an individual already to advise them of current circumstances so that they can offer ongoing support (we ask permission before we do this)
- Signposting or referral to appropriate services which can support an individual with their presenting needs
Where we work
We have staff based within the eight custody suites across Greater Manchester:
- Ashton-under-Lyne custody suite
- Bolton custody suite
- Cheadle Heath custody suite
- Bury custody suite
- Pendleton custody suite
- North Manchester custody suite
- Swinton custody suite
- Wigan custody suite
In the custody suites, our health liaison and diversion facilitators offer screenings to individuals to identify wider vulnerability. Where needs are identified service users are provided with and supported in access to appropriate services including, but not limited to, mental and physical health care, social care, substance misuse treatment and safeguarding.
If you are brought into police custody anywhere in Greater Manchester, you can ask to speak to a member of our team. Staff from the integrated service are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support you.
We have staff based within
- Manchester and Salford magistrates court
- Bolton magistrates court
- Trafford magistrates court
- Wigan and Leigh magistrates court
- Tameside magistrates court
The service accepts referrals from all court users
If you are attending Greater Manchester magistrate’s court and would like to speak to someone in the team, please ask an usher or your solicitor about us.
We have staff based within the two Manchester Crown Courts:
- Minshull Street Crown Court
- Crown Square Crown Court
Practitioners working within the Crown Court offer screening, assessment and referrals for individuals appearing before the court. The team will provide advice about presenting needs, prepare written reports for the court and aim to reduce adjournments by providing information early on in the proceedings. The service communicates the needs of the service user to the court to ensure that all relevant information is available to the decision makers and to inform sentencing when appropriate
It’s important to note that practitioners cannot be called as expert witnesses.
If you are attending a Greater Manchester Crown Court and would like to speak to someone in the team, please ask an usher or your solicitor about us.
Who is our service for?
Our service is here to support people who are brought to police custody who have vulnerabilities, including:
- mental health concerns
- learning disabilities
- alcohol or substance misuse
- housing issues