Evaluating the Metropolitan Police Service’s DIVERT intervention which supports young people who have been in police custody

Research Institution / Organisation

College of Policing

In Collaboration With

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

Principal Researcher

Abigail McNeill

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

February 2019

Research Context

​This evaluation project is managed by the Vulnerability and Violent Crime Programme, which was set up by the College of Policing from a grant awarded by the Police Transformation Fund. It is one of eight projects overseen by the programme.

The intervention focuses on intervening with young people who have been taken into police custody. Trained Custody Intervention Coaches work on a one-to-one basis with young people, supporting them back into education, training, employment, or in gaining access to other services. Support is provided outside the criminal justice process.

The intervention aims to reduce offending among young people by diverting them away from crime into education or employment.

The research project will seek to evaluate the implementation of the intervention and will measure the impact of the programme in successfully diverting young people away from crime.

A cost benefit analysis will also be carried out.

Research Methodology

​Interviews with young people receiving the intervention (at the initial contact point and also several months after), and those who administer DIVERT, will be used to help determine the effectiveness of the intervention.

Impact will be determined by analysing police data. A treatment group and a matched comparison group who do not get exposure to the intervention will be created. This will be supplemented by surveys on the attitudes towards crime of young people in these groups. Statistical analysis will attempt to establish what characteristics are related to criminal attitudes and self-efficacy. It will also attempt to establish the likelihood of both groups returning to custody (i.e. committing further offences), the severity of any reoffending, conviction rates, and whether they become a victim of crime.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

July 2021
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