The CARA journey

During 2011 The Hampton Trust formed part of a strategic stakeholder group across Hampshire to consider alternative sanctions for domestic abuse perpetrators.  The Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) granted Hampshire Constabulary permission for a trial using conditional cautions for specific domestic abuse offences with the aim being “to improve justice outcomes for victims by addressing offender behaviour.”   We designed domestic abuse awareness-raising workshops to be delivered to Individuals under a conditional caution.  We worked with Cambridge University and Hampshire Constabulary to conduct the randomized control trial.

Project CARA was the first domestic abuse policing strategy in UK history to be trialled under experimental conditions. The trial resulted in 35% fewer men reoffending against their partner compared to those in the control group, and reduced further harm to victims by over a quarter. In 2015 Project CARA received an award from the National College of Policing for Innovation. Following conclusion of the trial Project CARA was rolled out countywide across Hampshire.

In 2016 we starting working in partnership with West Midlands Police to deliver a CARA pilot which included translating material to Polish and Punjabi and engaging in further evaluations with Cambridge University. This was an ambitious project, and in its third year this project has gone from strength to strength. 2019/2020 will see West Midlands Project CARA deliver across four sites to in excess of 600 offenders. We are also piloting CARA in Leicester in partnership with Leicestershire Police.

In December 2018 we partnered with Avon & Somerset Police to mobilise our fourth CARA site. Police officers who identify offenders suitable for CARA refer them to the constabulary’s new ASCEND (Avon and Somerset Constabulary Engage Navigate Divert) service, which has been created to assess the offender’s need and support them through the programme.

It has been possible to extend CARA trials across new sites due to the Department of Public Prosecutions approving permission for select police forces to trial the use of conditional cautions for domestic abuse with workshops based on the CARA principles. We are delighted that recommendations for extended trials of conditional cautions for domestic abuse has been included in the Domestic Abuse Bill published in January 2019, with specific reference to CARA.

Further CARA sites are in the pipeline and we are currently engaging with Universities to set up further evaluations of Project CARA across multiple sites.

An initial assessment of the early stages of CARA can be found in the following Discussion Paper

CARA has been evaluated by the University of Cambridge.  Read the Research article for further information on how CARA workshops have reduced incidents of abuse.

For further information on Project CARA please contact us.

Case Studies

See for yourself how the work of the Hampton Trust has transformed lives for the better

Physical and verbal violence towards their family has ended

D was referred to LINX and displaying a lot of verbal and physical aggression towards a family member on a daily basis. Through engagement with LINX D spent time evaluating how his behaviour impacts both on himself and others. We also focused on D’s self-esteem and goal aspirations; and throughout our work we have paid […]

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Taking steps to address his behaviour

A received a Conditional Caution to attend CARA. A had a history of drug and alcohol abuse and was living with his partner. They had a daughter and a were expecting a second child. A engaged positively throughout workshop A, he was honest about the incident leading to arrest and said that he wanted to […]

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Accessing local services for additional support

D received a Conditional Caution to attend CARA. D had split from his partner and had continued to contact her following their separation even though she had asked him to stop. D arrived at workshop early and in a high state of anxiety. D disclosed being extremely frightened of what the workshop was about and […]

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Accessing additional support to make changes

C received a Conditional Caution to attend CARA. During the CARA sessions C engaged well and was reflective about his circumstances. He recognised stressors in his relationship associated to his habitual drug dependency and that he wanted to get help. C also disclosed childhood sexual abuse and recognised that he needed help to address this. […]

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