Vulnerability and Violent Crime Programme:  Intervention evaluations

The VVCP will build the evidence base by supporting the independent evaluation of eight promising initiatives aimed at tackling vulnerability and serious violence. The completed evaluations will help fill gaps in the current evidence base and encourage learning from new practice across policing.

To identify the most suitable initiatives for evaluation, police forces in England and Wales were invited to share examples with the programme through an open 'call for practice'. The team received details of over a hundred and thirty initiatives across a wide range of areas including child sexual abuse and exploitation, domestic abuse, gangs, county lines, and knife crime. Many initiatives highlighted innovations or adaptations of existing approaches to address vulnerability-related policing problems.

Practice examples were considered by national vulnerability leads and the VVCP board, with eight of the most promising initiatives being selected for independent evaluation. The key areas to be explored through the evaluation are:

  • How the intervention was designed and implemented
  • What conditions are needed to enable the intervention to operate effectively
  • The cost effectiveness of the intervention
  • The overall impact on crime and other relevant outcomes
  • Whether the intervention could be applied to other areas or other crime types


Suppliers worked with intervention leads to develop theory of change (ToC) models for each intervention in Phase 1 of the programme, as well as developing evaluation plans to be delivered in Phase 2. Fieldwork was completed and draft reports submitted by the end of Phase 2 in March 2020. Final evaluation reports will be published in Summer 2021.

The interventions being evaluated are:  

Intervention nameDIVERT
ForceMetropolitan Police Service​
Area of focusGangs and youth violence​

DIVERT uses a trauma informed approach to diverting young people away from crime; putting strategies in place to break a cycle of offending. Custody Intervention Coaches (CICs) are trained and embedded within this police force’s custody suites to approach suitable 18 to 25 year old detainees and support them in seeking employment and education opportunities.​ ​

You can read a full summary of this project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map.


​Intervention nameOperation Divan / Operation Met Divan​
ForceNorth Yorkshire Police; Metropolitan Police Service​
​Area of focusGangs and youth violence​

​Operation Divan / Operation Met Divan aims to reduce the number of young people carrying weapons, and raise awareness of the consequences of weapon carrying. Police work with partners to support those aged under 18 identified as being at risk of weapon carrying and prevent future escalation. ​

You can read a full summary of this project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map.


Intervention nameCommunity Initiative to Reduce Violence​ (CIRV)
ForceNorthamptonshire Police​
Area of focusGangs and youth violence​

​CIRV adopts a holistic approach to violence and gives gang members a choice to either stop their criminal behaviour, or face the consequences. Those who make the decision to stop are supported by the community, for example by life coaches, employment advisors, youth workers and the prevention and diversion service (PADs). In contrast, clear signals and lawful disruptive tactics are used to discourage individuals who are intent on continuing their gang violence. ​

You can read a full summary of this project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map.


Intervention nameThink Family Early Intervention (TFEI) scheme​
Force​Avon and Somerset
Focus​Vulnerability (early intervention)

The TFEI scheme is a force response to the Troubled Families programme and employs a multi-agency approach to provide holistic support for families. The intervention involves PCSOs working with families to understand their key difficulties and identifying what can be done to support them. The focus is on a preventative approach and therefore aims to target low level problems before they become severe and high risk.​ ​

You can read a full summary of this project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map.


Intervention nameAdverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trusted Adult Workers (TAWs)
Force​Hampshire Constabulary
Area of focusVulnerability (early intervention)​

​The intervention focuses on young people who have experienced ACEs and who may need support to deal with the trauma of those ACEs. The aim is to reduce the risk of future offending, tackle health problems and wider social issues, and ultimately support young people to enjoy a happy, healthy, crime-free life. Trusted Adult Workers (TAWs), funded by the OPCC, but working within Local Authorities, will be recruited to work with local children and adult safeguarding boards and community safety partnerships to deliver the intervention. Awareness training will also be given to staff from a range of partner agencies, to facilitate better identification and referral of ACEs exposed individuals to TAWs.  

You can read a full summary of this project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map.


​Intervention nameJoint approach to neglect
Force​Hampshire Constabulary
Area of focusVulnerabile children (child protection)​

The intervention has been developed to avoid repeated child neglect and common assault offences against children working jointly with children services and CPS. The aim is to undertake ‘early intervention’ activity to prevent individuals reaching a crisis point. The intervention delivers a joint visit by officers and Child Services. Robust messaging is provided to families, and detailed behaviour contracts are developed which aim to improve the level of care given to children and raise awareness about the consequences of failing to adhere to the contract.​ ​

You can read a full summary of this project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map.


​Intervention nameSpousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA v3) / Stalking Assessment and Management tool (SAM)
ForceCumbria Police; Lancashire Constabulary; West Midlands Police​
​Area of focusRisk assessment and management​

​​Endorsed  by the NPCC leads for MOSOVO and Domestic Abuse, a three-force pilot commenced in November 2018 looking at the application of police risk assessment and management tools for serial and repeat perpetrators of domestic abuse and stalking. The tools being trialled are SARA V3, which is the latest version of the risk assessment and management tool used by the NPS for domestic abuse cases; and the Stalking Assessment and Management tool (SAM), used for managing stalking cases.

You can read a full summary of this project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map.


Intervention nameHigh Harm Perpetrator Unit (HHPU)​
ForceSurrey Police​
Area of focusRisk assessment and management​

The Surrey HHPU uses an algorithm and referral process to support professional judgement and provide a unique approach to proactively identify high harm perpetrators who may or may not be currently managed. Through identification and bespoke offender targeting/rehabilitating; it aims to directly reduce and prevent the harm they cause to the community and in particular vulnerable victims and increase capacity by bringing together IOM and MAPPA resources.​ ​

You can read a full summary of this project on the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map.