Ireland: The Greentown Project
ECPA 2020 - First place
The Greentown Project is an evidence-informed and design-led targeted community intervention which aims to reduce the influence of criminal networks on children. The programme’s objectives are to reduce network capability for recruiting children to commit crime and to provide an exit route for children who are already engaged or embedded. The Greentown Project is informed by a significant evidence base which includes multiple primary studies, evaluation findings and deliberation with international academics in the area of organised crime, and national experts in the areas of youth justice, child welfare, policing and community development.
The programme includes four interdependent pillars. The first is network disruption. It is led by law enforcement and disrupts networks by creatively employing criminal justice and child welfare executive powers. The second pillar refers to community efficacy or activities focused on improving the capacity and capability of the affected community to withstand and repel network influence. The third pillar refers to pro-social opportunities and consists of focused efforts to assist the child to leave the network environment and re-connect with school or training. The fourth pillar, finally, is an intensive family programme to protect the child and family from exploitative network relationships. Collectively, they are designed to address the complex issues confronting a child and family when a dominant criminal network is operating in their neighbourhood. The Greentown Project offers new opportunities for practical law enforcement and academic community collaborations to support crime prevention efforts.
The project started on 1 September 2016 and is still running.