LANCASHIRE'S police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw has hailed the success of a project to turn former criminals away from offending.

He praised the scheme after visiting one of its hubs at Howarth House in Blackburn.

The 12-week 'Inspire Motivate Overcome' project works with offenders leaving prison on probation who deemed at high risk of returning to a life of crime

The scheme received a grant Mr Grunshaw's Reducing Reoffending Fund.

It provised offenders on release with approved accommodation, helping them improve their lifestyle, understand the issues they face and avoid returning to the criminal justice system.

The group-based programme aims to reintegrate participants into society.

Mr Grunshaw said: "It is really striking to hear the difference that this programme has already made for the first group to complete it and see for myself how engaged those who take part are."

Mohammed Sidat, director of operations at IMO said: "It's pleasing to see IMO has been able to help and change the lives of offenders and help them to integrate into the wider community."