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Executive Summary

The PCC committed Elm of funding from the 22/23 budget, towards Prevention activity or service delivery.

£600,000 is requested from this ringfenced reserve to pilot a West Mercia Serious

Violence Children and Young Persons (CYP) Diversionary Service until March 2025. The service will support the PCC response to new legislation, fill identified gaps in provision, ensure equitable service provision and make CYP and the communities of West Mercia safer. It will achieve this by preventing young people from becoming involved in, and decreasing the risk around, knife related crime and activity.

The new diversionary service will provide 1:1 trusted adult support, diversionary activity and group interventions, all evidence based activity. It will also incorporate the West Mercia Police led Steer Clear knife crime group workshops.

The funding will also allow for independent evaluation which will strengthen the evidence base and inform future service provision. The intention during 2024, is to use this pilot, the evaluation and refreshed needs assessment to inform commissioning intentions from April 2025, to also potentially incorporate the CLIMB Child Criminal Exploitation diversionary service.


It is proposed that the Commissioner approve the release of £600,000 to commission a West Mercia wide Serious Violence CYP Diversionary Service. The funding coming from the prevention fund, held in the commissioning reserve.

Approval Of

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner

I hereby approve the above proposal

Signed: John Campion

Part 1 – Non-Confidential/Exempt Facts and Figures

Supporting Report

The Steer Clear diversionary service, delivered by the Children’s Society, has been piloted in Telford & Wrekin since 2019, and delivers 1:1 trusted adult support and diversionary activities designed to prevent CYP from engaging in knife related crime.  

Alongside this, WMP have been running a series of Steer Clear workshops, where groups of CYP and parents are brought together to try and tackle local issues around knife crime. One of the clear gaps in service provision, identified through the needs assessment is that following the workshops, there was nowhere for the Force to refer CYP into for any 1:1 support or diversionary activity outside of Telford & Wrekin.

The OPCC Serious Violence Needs Assessment 2019, Child Criminal Exploitation

Needs Assessment 2019, the Youth Endowment Fund Toolkit, and the College of Policing Crime Reduction Toolkit recognise that mentoring and 1:1 trusted adult approaches work. The needs assessment also identified gaps in provision across West Mercia.

The Economic and Social Cost of Crime Report 2018 lists homicide as having the biggest unit cost with an average unit cost of £3.2 million per homicide investigation, with ‘anticipation’ (preventative /early intervention measures) accounting for just 61k, meaning ‘consequence and response’ costings of £3,156,670. This does not include the cost of violence with /without injury. The intent of this investment is therefore not only to prevent the emotional and societal damage associated with serious violence, but also to provide value for public money.

The learning from the Telford pilot, together with the above referenced material, provided a valuable understanding of the Steer Clear Police led workshops and recognised improvements that could be made to increase the uptake, engagement and outcomes for CYP’s; starting with those aged 10 to 17 years, which the data suggests is a high harm cohort.

The Steer Clear diversionary service has seen good outcomes with 71 engaged young people (Jan 2021-Jan 2022 / Telford only), with case studies showing CYP’s sustaining their educational placement, takin up positive activity, reduction in key areas of risk and criminal activity. We are seeking to build on these outcomes by expanding the service across West Mercia, and incorporating the group based workshops

The OPCC seeks to appoint a single agency provider to deliver a trusted adult approach for CYP aged 10-17 years old, together with a group Intervention offering In each local policing area that will utilise the value of lived experience in delivery

Aligned to the new legislation within the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill and the ‘Serious Violence Duty 2023’ the Intervention’s ambition is to break the cycle of serious violence and reduce the harm and threat caused to individuals and communities as early as possible, using education messaging, not criminalisation, allowing us to better understand the root causes by providing quality intervention and diversion.

The intervention offers a whole family approach and will work to an agreed outcomes framework, with performance deliverables specifically monitoring.

  • Risk reduction
  • Increased awareness
  • Diversion into positive activity
  • CYP experience change/progress in key areas of life

Additionally, the following outcomes will be achieved

  • Reduction in CYP entering the criminal justice system
  • Increased knowledge of child exploitation professionals and improved frameworks for partners

An academic partner will be procured, with support from College of Policing on independent evaluation of the intervention.

Strategic Considerations

  • Putting Victims and Survivors First
  • Building a More Secure West Mercia
  • Reassuring West Mercia’s Communities

The decision supports this/ these objective(s) through the following.

Putting Victims and Survivors First

Deliver effective, early intervention and prevention for vulnerable people. The proposal compliments existing provision, With commissioning flexibility within the specification and model, which allows adaption to localised or regional need. It fills identified gaps In our Intervention and prevention offering, aligns to the joint Prevention Strategy and has feedback noting the programmes’ potential to be a rich source of Intelligence / capable of identifying emerging trend, and understanding root causes

Building a More Secure West Mercia

Reduce crime and reoffending

The intervention is designed to keep CYP out of the criminal justice system and is positioned as an early opportunity for change In a gap where services currently fall short.

Reforming West Mercia and Reassuring West Mercia’s Communities

The proposal strengthens partnerships and encourages data sharing, and is designed to keep communities safe from harm, whilst building capacity and resilience In communities to empower, by improving prospects of young people.

Benefits and their Realisation

Anticipated benefits include.

Anticipated overall benefits for West Mercia:

  • Reduction in Involvement In violence, anti-social behaviour, knife carrying, knife-related crime, injury and homicide.
  • More resilient empowered communities, living safe from crime, disorder and danger
  • Developed understanding about the drivers and their interconnecting nature for Serious Violence amongst CYP Reduction In CYP entering CJS
  • A richer intelligence framework, which supports policing and wider agencies, by improved data gathering and sharing opportunities.
  • Evidences a public health approach focused on prevention
  • Academic rigour will assist in attracting external funding and will also strengthen our evidence base for any future recommissioning

Group intervention benefits

  • Service parity and a standardised approach across West Mercia for a multiagency group intervention series, which is led by subject matter experts and obtains better value for money.
  • Whole family approach with safe, Inclusive space for parents and carers.


H Davies.

Name: Helen Davies Date: 05.07.2023

Financial and Treasurer Comments

The request is for £600,000 of funding to commission a provider to deliver a West Mercia wide Serious Violence CYP Diversionary Service.

This would be a contract running between July 2023 to March 2025 with total costs apportioned over this period. The proposal includes £50,000 for the procurement of independent evaluation to run concurrently with the contract to demonstrate delivery of outcomes and basis for determining value for money.

Funding is requested to come from the Prevention Fund held in reserves, and ringfenced for preventative activity.


Paul Benfield

Treasurer Date: 24/07/2023

Legal Considerations

By virtue of schedule 11, paragraph 14 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 the Police and Crime Commissioner may do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of commissioner. That includes entering into contracts and other agreements (whether legally binding or not) and acquiring and disposing of property (including land).

Public Access to Information

Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other legislation. Part 1 of this form will be made available on the West Mercia Commissioner’s website. Any facts and advice that should not be made automatically available on request are not included in Part 1 but instead in a separate Part 2 report.

Officer Approval

Chief Executive Officer

Signed Date: 16/08/2023