In 2017 an all Wales collaborative bid between Public Health Wales, the four Police and Crime Commissioners, the four Police forces across Wales and key partners was submitted to the Police Transformation Fund. This bid was successful and, in 2018, the Early Action Together (E.A.T.) Programme was launched.
The E.A.T. Programme has sought to address the lack of early intervention and preventative activity when ACEs are evident, families are at risk of poor outcomes and the associated impact on Policing, in terms of vulnerability and crime, through:
- Building and sharing an extensive evidence base helping us move from a position of understanding the ACE research to understand what a positive and effective response looks like at different stages of Policing, the wider justice system and for other interrelated partners;
- Impacting on short, medium- and longer-term organisational governance so that strategy and policy is ACE informed;
- Enabling a workforce with the capacity and capability to deal with changes in demand through improving training, recruitment, support for staff etc;
- Changing systems, processes and practice to enable a 24/7 front door response to vulnerability, viewing early intervention and prompt positive action as a way of doing business rather than an ad hoc specialist approach;
- Working in collaboration with partners to deliver and ensure a systems-wide approach where Police practice recognises and responds to impact on others and other partners can respond more effectively to areas of business which currently have a significant impact on Policing.
The programme has been guided by the following principles as it sought to achieve the maximum benefit for the largest number of people and to develop sustainable systems that will continue this work into the future:
Working with systems, not symptoms
Focus on people, not process
Working different, not more
Led by evidence, not assumption
Build into, not onto
The programme took the Public Health approach to policing, using an evidence base to understand the existing context across Wales and to identify what works, developing and evaluating interventions to tackle the root causes before scaling up and assessing those interventions showing the most promise. The programme acknowledged the different challenges facing police forces across Wales and consequently was adaptable to their local needs rather than trying to force a one size fits all approach to what is a complex landscape. A large scale research study was conducted involving various key partners allowing for a fuller picture in terms of current processes and understanding of vulnerability, alongside evaluations of several pilot projects looking at how ACE-informed training/approaches were perceived across the various sectors.
For more information about the E.A.T programme please visit the website: https://www.aces.me.uk/