Evaluation released on Glasgow’s Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV)
Jan 25, 2010
Glasgow’s Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) formally began on 24 October 2008, with the aim of dramatically reducing gang violence in the East End during an initial two year period, followed by a rigorous and independent evaluation.
....Following intensive engagement with gang members by police officers and community partners, five self referral sessions were held at Glasgow Sheriff Court. 222 gang members in total attended these sessions and 368 have actively engaged with CIRV in the first year, each having given a pledge to stop their violent behaviour.
....On average there has been a 49.2% reduction in the level of violent offending by gang members who have engaged with CIRV. By using gang members to influence fellow gang members, CIRV also aims to affect the behaviour of those who refuse to engage. As such, there has to date been an average 18.5% reduction in violent offending by this disengaged group.
From the evaluation report:
....The Self Referral Session (SRS) is part of CIRV’s engagement process and communicates the consequences of violent behaviour to gang members. The SRS informs clients about the services available to those choosing to engage with CIRV and the consequences for them should they continue to be violent. It also communicates the expectations of the community.
It is a stated expectation of the SRS that attendees pass the message to fellow gang members. Every attempt is made, therefore, to identify attendees that most broadly represent the street gangs identified by intelligence gathering.
Five SRSs have been held during CIRV’s first year. Each session has followed a distinct path, with the delivery of the three key messages crucial to the whole event. This has been achieved by using different partners to give different messages at the session, including:
- Senior police officers
- The mother of a boy seriously injured as a result of gang violence
- An ex-prisoner convicted of murder following a gang fight
- Ex gang members who have engaged positively with CIRV
- CIRV programme providers
Each session is chaired by a Sheriff, giving the event a certain level of gravitas.
On completion of each SRS every potential client is issued with a card containing the 24/7 telephone number and instructions for engagement.
To date a total of 222 gang members have attended an SRS of their own free will.
....Experience has shown us that gang members:
- will attend more than one session before they agree to engage
- will engage some time after the session itself
- will engage without having ever attended (sometimes as a result of a reluctance to enter the court environment).