CIRV - Community Initiative to Reduce Violence is our programme to help reduce the drugs and violence associated with gangs. Please read below for further information about our programme.
If you are in a gang and want to get out ring 07539 183975 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We have a team ready to help you.
CIRV - Community Initiative to Reduce Violence is a gang’s intervention programme to help reduce violence and drugs associated with gangs.
History of CIRV
CIRV is the programme that has been adopted by Northamptonshire Police and the office of the Police and Fire Commissioner that officially launched in February 2019 to tackle the violence and drugs associated with gangs in our community. This issue now seriously threatens the safety and wellbeing of our communities and in particular young vulnerable people. It is not a one size fits all approach. Acknowledging that this programme was likely to be the largest undertaking of many of our careers it was vital that we got it right first time. We enlisted the help of Dr Will Graham of Abertay University in Scotland who lectures in criminology and could assist us with the Glasgow model. Dr Graham is a former police officer and was the deputy lead of CIRV Glasgow and ran all 10 “call in” events. (In our news section there is details of the two CIRV calls in that we have run.) He advises us on some of the operational aspects of CIRV. In addition to this in the run up and early days of CIRV we also enlisted the help of Professor Steve Peters (Author of the Chimp Paradox) to deliver work on offender profiling to our team. This enabled us to use basic psychology to better deliver services and maximise the effectiveness of the use of our resources. It was important that we adapted the Glasgow approach in order that it fitted the local partnership landscape and community context. We have received National and International interest as many parts of the Country are setting up their own Violence Reduction Units (VRU’S) and are looking for a successful model on which to base their VRU. Our staff were invited to Sweden to present in Malmo and also to present at the International Conference for Law Enforcement and Public Health in Edinburgh. In February 2020 CIRV will also present at the National Police Chief’s Council in London.
With the youth of today comes a new era of gang culture, a culture born into the digital age and born without fear of consequence. Gangs will often glamorise their activity and taunt other rival gangs by means of drill music often uploaded to popular streaming or social sites such as Instagram and YouTube. Within this glamorisation there will be details of stabbings, drug running (county lines) and other illegal activities.
It seems that the ages involved vary with younger children being targeted due to their age related vulnerabilities and lack of criminal records. To anyone involved in gangs that wants to leave this life behind we offer our programme and as we say it’s never too late for change!
Part of our team is made up of people with lived experience of being in a gang, ex gang members. They work as mentors to our cohort in the community. They are inspiring and credible role models and examples of how it is possible to turn your life around. They bring to the team a wealth of positivity and experience.
How to refer in?
Our referral process is the same for everyone whether it be a self referral or from a parent or professional. Through www.aimonline.org.uk you click the CIRV referral tab and enter the details in the required fields. There is a gang screening tool that can assist in the process in helping you identify the level of risk you feel that the referee has. All the details are then managed in our referral management system that we use to compile the list of persons we are going to speak about at triage, and to monitor and record outcomes of each referral.
Alternatively, for gang members and concerned parents, there is the gang phone 07539 183975. This is monitored 24/7 and the on call duty CIRV officer will take details from the caller and put a referral through to www.aimonline.org.uk. This phone number can also be contacted by anyone in the cohort that has an urgent high impact issue if their navigator is off duty.
Every Tuesday we hold a triage meeting, which is a multi-agency meeting attended by a variety of professionals from a number of different fields. We work through each individual referral with discussion about the person and which agencies may already be involved. We consider if we accept the person into the cohort what CIRV could assist with in relation to trying to support the person in desistance from the drugs and violence linked with gangs. In Triage referrals can also be made to other agencies even if the referee is not accepted in to the cohort. For those who are accepted in to the cohort, they will be allocated a navigator who work with them and refer them into the services that we have within the team. The navigator will work with them on their personal journey to change their life. Those not accepted at triage aren’t simply just not accepted however. The other agencies that attend take on referrals where CIRV isn’t the most appropriate intervention for them so that action is still taken where a concern is identified.
A mandatory condition of receiving support is that all adults 18 plus years old wear a GPS tracker. Under 18 years of age there is an option to wear the tracker but it is not an essential.
Benefits of the tracker are:
Quickly ruled out of crime thereby reducing the need to bring into custody unnecessarily.
Reduce disruption caused to wearers and their families by negating the need for curfew checks and disruption visits.
Support and empower wearers to make positive lifestyle decisions, avoid peer pressure and move away from offending thereby reducing the risk of reoffending.
Helps to protect the vulnerable.
Will identify their participation in a crime if they were there at the time of the offence. We compare the location of all offences in the previous 24 hours against the recorded location of the wearer.
In relation to the cohort the navigators use the following three golden rules to help with decision making in relation to management of the cohort member.
1 Does it feel like it is the right thing to do?
2 Does what I am doing progress them towards their goal?
3 Are they contributing in some way too?
Behavioural Change Stairway
We use this model too in conjunction with the three rules in relation to decision making.
We have a number of established interventions that we can refer to:
GYM - Guiding Young Minds mentors
CLARiTY Inspired – Life coach/Mentors
Prospects – Careers advice through dedicated Prospects staff who now work within our team
We have forged strong links with a number of non statutory partners who are able to provide support to our cohort including some of the following:
Support in relation to substance abuse
Family Support through Action for Children
Vocational training is available via Goodwill Solutions and Goodwill Learning Academy.
Interventions delivered by the Prevention and Diversion scheme (operated by the youth offending service)
Bespoke opportunities in the commercial sector via our own specialist
In addition to this we are a forward thinking and dynamic team if we feel that the cohort member requires something we don’t already have, we will source it if it fits with three rules and the Behavioural Change Stairway.
Perseverance in getting engagement
One element of our programme that sometimes surprises those that we are trying to engage is our perseverance in gaining their engagement. Many people are shocked that we don’t give up after trying once. We are waiting for that “teachable moment” when the person concerned realises that they can’t carry on behaving as they are and that they need help to move away from their gang activity. We appreciate that this happens at different times for people and we want to be there when it does.
As an example, if we accept a referral for a 14 year old, we won’t stop trying to engage them until we are sure they are no longer at risk or they turn 18. We forensically scan for teachable moments such as an arrest, intelligence indicating a change, an admission to hospital or some other change.
Our disruption team use focussed deterrence against people who are committing crime but do not want to change. Although our primary objective is changing people’s lives by opening the door to genuine and real opportunity through work or education. The disruption officers will keep offering our support and services as an alternative to drug dealing and violence at every opportunity but, they will deploy both intensive support and intrusive disruption on the choices of the participant. We have national markers on all of our cohort that will highlight to us if one of our cohort comes into custody. At this point the on call CIRV officer will arrange with custody to visit the person to offer our services. It will be made clear that if the person chooses not to work with us at this point, that the offer will still be there in the future if they want to contact us. It is also highlighted that if they are charged and remanded that a court report will be completed by our team to say they have clearly refused our help. This is so the Magistrate has this information in front of them in case the person claim that they are trying everything to change their life around and no one is helping them. It will detail the number of times we have tried to engage and what the response was to this offer. There are a vast array of disruption tactics that we use and of course we are not able to discuss these on our website. Please find to follow some examples of successes we have had in the Disruption area of our team to give you an idea of how disruption works and how important it is as part of our work.
Examples of Disruption Sucesses
A male was identified as linked to transporting a gang in the Wellingborough area. Intelligence development identified a vehicle he was currently using and it was believed that delivery and drop-offs were done in the early hours, where police presence was minimal. CIRV support was offered to this individual and he refused to engage. Two evenings after CIRV disruption officers were on proactive patrols monitoring the Automatic Number Plate Recognition ‘hotlist’, which is run in-house by the department containing registrations of interest and when they hit up. The vehicle activated a camera the other side of Northampton at approximately 4am. An officer attends on blue lights to intercept the vehicle which is stopped on the outskirts of town. Three males were within the vehicle – the vehicle was searched and over £3000 cash was located. £3000 of drugs was concealed within his underwear. The vehicle was seized and all the occupants were arrested. Male driver visited in custody and admits he needs help and support in getting out of the lifestyle. Male worked with, wore a Buddi tracker tag, complied fully and is now standing on his own two feet after four months of work with CIRV and an exit plan in place (moved out of county, safeguarded, support in place).
A known male with historic serious gang links was moved onto Northamptonshire’s area following fleeing gang related violence. Disruption officers visited the family to offer support to assist them to exit the gang lifestyle. As part of the support conditions, a Buddi tracker was placed on the subject. Interpretation of the data identified several breaches of criminal injunctions that were in place, where the subject was still associating with gang nominals in a previous County. Joint working with other Forces identified CCTV corroborating movements and associations with other gang members. It was identified that this male was disguising his compliance and relying on us not pursuing him if he wore the Buddi. As a result the male received custodial sentences from joint working and reports through Buddi data analysis.
Award by the Night Time Industries Association for our work helping the community.
High Sheriff of Northamptonshire Award for recognition of great and valuable services to the community.
The team is made up of 11 police officers, 1 Sergeant and 1 police staff equivalent manager and 2 administrative staff. We are based across two sites one in Northampton and one in Kettering. We also have working with us mentors, family support workers, careers advisors, PADS and an ex gang member amongst other various services and interventions. We work closely with Children’s services (inc Social Care, Early Help and Education & Inclusion), Schools and Colleges, YOS, Housing and health provides further opportunities for support. Partnership working is key to the project.
Inspector Daryl Lyon
Sergeant Dina Sunderland