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 has been implemented by Northamptonshire Police across its force. The Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (referred to as ‘CIRV’) focusses on reducing gang violence through the coordination of law enforcement, partner agencies (such as housing support, employers, education providers), and community members. It is based on the models of CIRV that have been implemented in the US and Scotland (Glasgow), but tailored to the local context. The main aims of CIRV are to create a hostile environment for gangs and to provide tailored support as a viable alternative to gang membership. The intervention offers individuals (usually under 25 years of age) who are involved in gangs a choice between engagement with support services or robust enforcement activity. Individuals who choose engagement are offered a range of support options such as careers advice, skills training, education, and housing support. Individuals who choose not to engage and do not make the commitment to change their offending behaviour are subject to more rigorous enforcement activity, with the police using a range of disruptive tactics to prevent further offending. The research project will seek to evaluate the implementation of CIRV, and attempt to look at the impact of key parts of the intervention. A cost-analysis will be carried out to identify associated costs involved in delivering the intervention.
Police data and other criminal justice data relating to individuals going through the intervention will be analysed. Interviews and observations will also be used. As part of understanding the implementation of the intervention, referral volumes and pathways into the intervention from the Police and from other agencies will be explored. To understand the impact of CIRV, there will be an attempt to establish any changes in the resilience of young people in their antisocial and criminal attitudes and behaviours, as well as their reoffending.