The Drive Project launched in April 2016 and has been piloted in three areas across England and Wales (Essex, South Wales and West Sussex) from 2016-2019. It has been developed and run as part of a partnership between Respect, SafeLives, and Social Finance in collaboration with the PCCs, local authorities, and service providers with additional funding from the Home Office, and delivered by DVIP (division of Richmond Fellowship), Hampton Trust, Safer Merthyr Tydfil, and the Change Project. The evaluation work was funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales.
The pilot programmes are funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, Comic Relief, Tudor Trust and the Police and Crime Commissioners in all three areas. The project has also benefited from local authority support. The replication sites which launched in 2018, are funded by the Police Transformation Fund, local authorities and PCC support.
The University of Bristol, acting as independent evaluators for the pilot, have now reported on their third year findings from Drive. The aim of the University’s first year’s feasibility study was to determine whether the intervention could be safely delivered and ensure that sufficient data could be captured to enable evaluation. The Year 2 evaluation was an interim report assessing outcome findings to date and developing a deeper understanding of the model. The final evaluation demonstrates that Drive is reducing harm to victims, including children, by targeting perpetrators of domestic abuse.
The University of Bristol’s independent three-year evaluation findings, based on the analysis of over 500 cases, tell us:
Reduction in abuse. There is a substantial reduction in the use of abuse. The number of Drive service users perpetrating abuse types reduced as follows:
– Physical abuse reduced by 82%;
– Sexual abuse reduced by 88%;
– Harassment and stalking behaviours reduced by 75%;
– Jealous and controlling behaviours reduced by 73%.
Reduction of risk: Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), who are trained to work with victims-survivors and assess the level of domestic abuse risk they face, recorded reduction in risk to victims in 82% of cases.
Sustained reduction in perpetrators assessed by multi-agencies as posing a risk of murder or serious harm. MARAC data shows that Drive helped to reduce high-risk perpetration, including serial and repeat perpetrators, especially post-intervention, and this was sustained for a year after the case was closed.
Police data for Year 2 of the pilot showed perpetration of DVA (domestic violence and abuse) offending had reduced by 30% for Drive service users recorded in the 6 months after the intervention compared to 6 months before.
Impact on wider offending behaviour. High-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse were shown to be prolific offenders more generally and Drive was found to have a positive impact on both their domestic abuse and their other offending behaviour.