1. ITV Report

Chief Constable opens centre helping young ex offenders

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy Photo:

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy will cut the ribbon on a brand new training and enterprise hub today.

The Message Enterprise Centre (MEC), an initiative of Manchester Christian youth charity The Message Trust, will be the base for five brand new businesses: an onsite cafe and catering firm, a health and beauty salon, a cycle recycling business, and property development and building maintenance firms. Each will train and mentor young people and provide them with much-needed jobs.

But the MEC is no ordinary youth training scheme - the young people it will help will all have criminal records.

Andy Hawthorne, from The Message Trust, said: 'Trying to find a job when you've had a prison sentence is hard enough in good times.

** 'In today's economic climate, it's nigh-on impossible. No wonder that almost 80% of those released from custody are back behind bars within two years. We're aiming to prove that with the right support, prison leavers can break the cycle of re-offending and get their lives back on track.'**

The centre will be based in Wythenshawe and the ceremony will also attended by Lord Lieutenant Warren Smith and a host of local dignitaries.**