A woman tasked with running a pioneering scheme to help vulnerable people break away from a life of crime knows what it’s like to live under the shadow of addiction.

Anna Baker is manager of the Checkpoint Cymru programme, a new initiative by Arfon Jones, the police and crime commissioner for north Wales, which aims to keep minor offenders out of trouble and out of the courts.

The 44-year-old was brought up with a grandmother who was addicted to prescription drugs, while her sister, Anna’s great aunt, was alcohol dependent and ran a pub in Hampshire.

Ms Baker will head a team of nine ‘navigators’ based across the three regional police divisions: east, central and west.

Their job is to supervise and offer guidance to minor offenders given the chance to avoid prosecution and a criminal record by seeking courses of help and support from rehabilitation services in the community after signing a contract to say they will comply and not reoffend during that time.

The offenders must successfully complete the agreed rehabilitation contract or face prosecution and a criminal record.

Serious offences such as rape, robbery or murder are not eligible for Checkpoint and neither are driving offences, cases of serious domestic abuse or serious hate crime, or assaults against emergency services.

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