A police operation to tackle domestic abuse in a town which has one of the highest rates in the county has been shortlisted for a national award.

Operation Acorn began in Stevenage in November, with four full-time officers working with high risk domestic abuse offenders to address the issues that have led to their behaviour and try to prevent further offending.

Those unwilling to engage are treated as persistent prolific offenders and are closely monitored to ensure the safety of victims.

The police operation has been shortlisted for The Howard League for Penal Reform’s Community Awards, which celebrate schemes across England and Wales that help keep people out of the criminal justice system.

A total of 25 projects have been shortlisted in five categories – policing and adults, restorative justice, women, liaison and diversion, and policing and children.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday at a London conference hosted by the Howard League Penal Reform, a national charity working for less crime, fewer people in prison and safer communities.