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 is being piloted in three areas across England and Wales (Essex, South Wales and West Sussex) from 2016-2019. The Drive team are already starting to see positive indications that the pilot is increasing victim safety, reducing abuse and moving perpetrators along cycles of change.
They have therefore decided to roll Drive out into further areas 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.
John Campion has allocated £170,000 for the project to be piloted in West Mercia and a suitable test site has been chosen which is Worcestershire. In addition to this, Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health team have also allocated £150,000 match funding for the service. A joint bid between the Drive Partnership and 5 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.
Set up process
Site preparation will be led by a Drive “Fellow” from local police (or other appropriate local service) in each area who will attend a Drive specific training programme, lead local service scoping, provide connections to relevant local services and advocate for the service locally. They will also be supported by a central Drive team who will 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 T/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 set up process will focus on ensuring that the right multi-agency forums and working practices are developed, and that Drive is given a high level of focus and buy in from key stakeholders. The PCC and Drive Fellows have set up a Drive Tactical Implementation Group who met monthly at the West Mercia Police Headquarters during set-up phase and meet bi-monthly now that the service is up and running. The roles and responsibilities of the group include overseeing implementation of Drive and facilitating the multi-agency working required to deliver Drive. This group has representation from those key agencies who attend the MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) meetings as this will be a key referral route into Drive.
To facilitate Drive in Worcestershire, the funding has allowed for increased IDVA provision to support victims whose perpetrators may be going through the Drive programme.
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 175 perpetrators for the duration of the service contract (July 2018 – March 2020).
One of the key requirements of Drive is the development of a multi-agency perpetrator panel. This is currently being developed for Worcestershire and will be known as the DAPP (Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Panel). The panel will discuss 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 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 has currently been provided for the project to continue until approximately May/June 2020.
There are 4 Case Managers in post, along with a Service Manager and a Drive Administrator. To facilitate discussions about suitability for high harm perpetrators to go onto the Drive programme, a multi-agency Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Panel (DAPP) has been set up in Worcestershire and they meet monthly (one for North of the area and one for South). This panel discuss referrals and suitability for onward referral to the Drive programme. Referral to the DAPP are mainly from the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) or from Police intelligence and analysis on high harm and repeat/serial domestic abuse offenders.
Strong links and relationships have also 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.
Figures taken from end of the 2018 year show that 52 high risk/harm perpetrators have been discussed at the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Panels for both North and South Worcestershire. Of these, 37 have been referred onto the Drive programme.
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 – Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org