§ Paul Goggins
The national Persistent Offender Scheme that came into effect in April 2003 defines a Core Persistent Offender as "someone who is 18 or over and has been convicted of six or more recordable offences in the last 12 months". The definition was developed in order to provide an objective test of persistent offending that can be applied across the criminal justice system. However the scheme recognises that there are individuals who do not meet this definition, who may be suspected of being prolific offenders on the basis of local intelligence. Therefore Local Criminal Justice Areas have the flexibility also to apply persistent offender strategies to "Local Persistent Offenders", identified on the basis of local intelligence and priorities, which could include issues of particular relevance to rural areas.