Introduction to Drive
The Drive Project is a new response to domestic abuse that aims to reduce the number of child and adult victims of domestic abuse by deterring perpetrator behaviour. Drive provides a case manager who acts as a single point of contact for perpetrators on a 1-2-1 basis.
Liaising closely with local police and support agencies, case workers deploy a two-pronged attack of disruption through the criminal justice system and or/ support for unresolved personal issues to stop domestic abuse.
The case manager works closely with all statutory agencies including the Police, Probation and Children’s Services to maximise the impact of the criminal justice system, developing and agreeing strategies to limit the opportunities for the perpetrator to continue abusing. The service has been developed to knit together existing services, complementing and enhancing existing interventions.
The Drive Project pilot focuses on priority (high-risk or serial) perpetrators, as this group carries the greatest risk of serious harm and engage poorly in available services.
The Drive Project launched in April 2016 and was piloted in three areas across England and Wales (Essex, South Wales and West Sussex) from 2016-2019. From the pilot, the Drive team saw positive indications that the pilot was increasing victim safety, reducing abuse and moving perpetrators along cycles of change.
They therefore decided to roll Drive out into 4 further areas, one of which was West Mercia (Worcestershire specifically) in order to; 1) grow their evidence base to support the intervention and test its results in areas with different demographics and; 2) test and learn from their replication processes so that they can plan for a potential larger scale roll out of Drive. The pilot sites were being independently evaluated by Bristol University over the 3 year period. The Year 2 evaluation can be found here
A joint bid between the Drive Partnership and 4 PCC areas was made to the Police Transformation fund back in March 2017 for additional funding required to delivered Drive and confirmation that the funding has been awarded was received in November 2017. John Campion allocated £180,000 for the project to be piloted in West Mercia and a suitable test site was been chosen which was Worcestershire. In addition to this, Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health team allocated £150,000 match funding for the service. The initial timeframe for Drive to be delivered in Worcestershire was September 2018 to June 2020.
Set up process
Site preparation was led by a Drive “Fellow” from local police (or other appropriate local service) in each area who attended Drive specific training programmes, led local service scoping, provided connections to relevant local services and advocated for the service locally. They have been supported by a central Drive team who provide on the ground management and practical support with site preparation including: scoping services, implementation and business planning, establishing multi-agency working (e.g. MATACs) and information sharing protocols and embedding the service within MARAC and MASH. The Drive Fellow leading the implementation of Drive in Worcestershire is DCI Emma Whitworth.
Drive is a multi-agency response to high-risk perpetrators of domestic abuse. As a multi-agency response it therefore requires all key stakeholders (police, probation, children’s services, housing, mental health, IDVA provision etc.) to share information and complete action tasking with the Drive Case Manager to effectively prevent and disrupt abuse.
The Drive model sets out the requirement to provide 4 x Case Managers and 1 x Service Manager who will work with a target of around 100 perpetrators per year for the duration of the service contract. One of the key requirements of Drive is the development of a multi-agency perpetrator panel. This has been developed for Worcestershire and is known as the DAPP (Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Panel). The panel has been in operation since October 2018 and discusses high risk domestic abuse perpetrators, not just those who are going through the Drive project. Case Managers are expected to attend the DAPP meetings but won’t be responsible for those perpetrators who aren’t in the Drive cohort.
The set up process focused on ensuring that the right multi-agency forums and working practices were developed, and that Drive was given a high level of focus and buy in from key stakeholders. The PCC and Drive Fellow set up a Drive Tactical Implementation Group who met monthly at the West Mercia Police Headquarters during set-up phase. This group has now formed part of the strategic MARAC and DAPP governance group, which oversee local implementation of Drive and as well as facilitate the multi-agency working required to deliver Drive, MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) and the domestic abuse perpetrator panels (DAPP) in Worcestershire. This group has representation from those key agencies who attend the MARAC and DAPP meetings as these are key referral routes into Drive.
The PCC worked with Worcestershire County Council Public Health to procure the service provider and the chosen provider was Cranstoun, an organisation with a wealth of experience in dealing with people who have challenging and complex needs.
Cranstoun commenced the Drive programme in Worcestershire in October 2018 and funding was initially provided for the project to continue until June 2020.
December 2019 update
Between October 2018 to September 2019 there have been 24 DAPP meetings, at which 248 high harm perpetrators have been discussed, of which 125 have been referred onto the Drive programme. Of these 125 referred to Drive 62% have had direct contact, of which 66% of these cases are either fully engaged or partially engaged.
Part of the Drive model also allows for increased IDVA provision to support victims whose perpetrators may be going through the Drive programme. Between October 2018 and 144 known victims/survivors have been referred to IDVA. 82% of these have engaged. 100% of these victims/survivors have reported outcomes of increased safety/reduction in risk at case closure.
Strong links and relationships have been developed between the Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVA’s), the domestic Abuse Risk Officers (DARO’s) and the Drive Case Managers to ensure that throughout the process, the victim/survivor is fully supported and that risk is managed accordingly.
In addition funding was provided for a Children and Young Peoples service’ to support the CYPs whose family members/carers are going through the Drive programme. This service went live on the 1st of July 2019. Since that date, 20 CYP have been referred onto the programme and are receiving 1-2-1 or group based support.
The Drive project has recently been extended up to the end of March 2021 in Worcestershire. Worcestershire Public Health and the PCC are providing funding to enable the service to continue past the current end date of June 2020.
With the extension the PCC and Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health have funded £136,101 each for an additional 9 months up to March 2021.
With the extension, Drive are now trialling working with 125 perpetrators per year. The Drive team are above their target for the number of accepted referrals at this stage of the project at 107%. Compared to the other sites delivering Drive, Worcestershire are higher than average for the target number of referrals and the number of cases with direct contact being completed.
Key Success Factors
Key success factors for the project are;
- Priority from police and other key stakeholders
- Strong IDVA provision which understands and believes in Drive
- Effective multi-agency information sharing and coordinated action
- Strong delivery partner coordinating all actors
- Effective disrupt mechanisms in place
- Effective behaviour change process (es) in place
Worcestershire has been chosen as the location for the following reasons;
- It has the highest number of cases referred into MARAC than other areas of West Mercia (which is linked to the larger population than the other areas in West Mercia), but increases the chances of meeting the targets for amount of perpetrators that the Drive project will identify and work with
- Worcestershire Public Health are offering up some match funding to support the pilot
- Worcestershire has a strong working MARAC which is one of the key areas required for the project to be a success
For more information about the project or if you have any questions, please contact Claire Richardson, Commissioning Officer, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office – [email protected]