In February 2019 CIRV was officially launched in Northamptonshire.
CIRV is based on a programme of the same name which ran in Glasgow and previously Boston (Ceasefire Program) and Cincinnati in America. Glasgow’s programmed was one of the most successful gang intervention anywhere in the world.
These programmes are based on the ‘pulling leavers’ concept developed by Prof. David Kennedy Northamptonshire continues to experience significant issues directly related to gang violence and associated crimes such as drug dealing.
Referrals in the first year totalled 900+. Many parts of the Country and World, are experiencing the same issue of gangs and are looking for new approaches to tackle the issue.
CIRV - Community Initiative to Reduce Violence is a gang’s intervention programme to help reduce violence and drugs associated with gangs.
CIRV was the programme that was 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 was seriously threatening the safety and wellbeing of our communities and in particular young vulnerable people. It was 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 adopting, adapting and implementing 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 advised 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.
New role for CIRV in relation to knife crime in Northants
CIRV has recently undergone some changes and has a renewed focus on the priority area of knife crime and associated gang culture. CIRV will be seeking to engage with young people who are involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in knife crime and/or gang related activity.
Our work will incorporate offenders, suspects and victims of knife crime and those linked to knife crime if appropriate.
How to make a referral
Referrals are accepted from all sources; professionals (including police, teachers, health workers, children’s services), parents or self-referrals. To refer in go to the CIRV Referral tab on this site and fill in with as much detail as you can and submit.
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 Triage referrals can also be made to other agencies even if the referee is not accepted in to the CIRV 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.
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?
4 Would it pass public scrutiny?
Behavioural Change Stairway
We use this model too in conjunction with the three rules in relation to decision making.
Interventions and support
CIRV adopts a holistic approach and aims to address the underlying causes of the referred person’s involvement in knife crime. Support is provided by the CIRV team and a range of partners and supports services across the county to cover areas including:
EXODUS – lived experience mentors
Outside Inspired - Coaching
Entry into employment, training or education including bespoke opportunities in the commercial sector via our own MY:BK:YD specialist. (see the MY:BK:YD section of the website for more details).
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)
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.
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 knife crime and/or gangs that wants to leave this life behind we offer our programme and as we say it’s never too late for change!
We have been awarded an 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 6 police officers, 2 Sergeants, 2 PCSO, 2 ACE Support officers,1 police staff manager and 1 administrator. We are based across two sites one in Northampton and one in Kettering. We also have working with us mentors, family support workers, a careers adviser, PADS 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.
Sergeant Dina Sunderland
Sergeant Oliver Charter
Sandra Browne - Administrator
Junior Anderson - Navigator
Tamlin Rees - Navigator
Leanne Tyson - Navigator
Spence Lyman - Navigator
Tara Withers - Navigator
Ben Johnson - Navigator
Graham Suppiah - PCSO
Debbi Elvy-Davies - PCSO
Rebecca Parr - Early Intervention and ACE Support Officer
Lisa Curtis - Early Intervention and ACE Support Officer
Ric Ellis - MY BACK YARD (MYBKYD) Project