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Building the evidence base for a programme tackling organised exploitation

Consulting Case Study


The situation

The Tackling Organised Exploitation (TOEX) programme was first piloted across three regional organised crime units (ROCUs) in 2021/22 to identify, prioritise, and disrupt high-harm exploitation. The aim of the programme was to deliver an innovative approach to tackling and preventing organised exploitation, create efficiencies in resources, intelligence and information sharing and safeguard the most vulnerable in society. The TOEX leadership team were keen to ensure their work was independently evaluated and that lessons could be learnt throughout the pilot period, creating the foundation for effective and efficient national implementation.


Our response

The TOEX leadership team commissioned Crest in February 2021 to complete an independent evaluation of the programme. The evaluation framework was developed independently by Crest through February and March 2021 in consultation with the TOEX national team and an expert panel to ensure the evaluation is objective, robust, and success is feasible for the TOEX programme to achieve within the pilot year through to March 2022. We followed a mixed methods approach with both quantitative and qualitative key performance indicators (KPIs) measuring the processes, impact, and outcomes as well as financial and econometric modelling. During the evaluation, Crest spoke to around 75 people (TOEX and non-TOEX) and drew upon a large range of TOEX and partner data sources to assess the programme.

After successful completion of the pilot year, the TOEX programme received a three year funding settlement for full national implementation and Crest have been retained to continue the evaluation for the first year to help the programme maximise the value they are adding to policing.


Our impact

The Crest team has conducted interviews with and collated quantitative data from the TOEX national and regional teams, ROCUs, NCA, and other relevant stakeholders. Monthly reports provide insight into the performance of the programme in three ways:

  1. Measuring performance against quantitative KPIs in the form of a standardised Data Pack;

  2. A case studies pack which is updated each month with one or two one-page case studies and helps disseminate best practice and highlight effective working; and

  3. A monthly report focussed on a broader strategic issue and how TOEX adds value within this context and where it can continue to improve.

Crest’s analysis informs quarterly strategic governance meetings for the programme and provides an objective view of the programme including recommendations.

“It’s been a very open partnership with Crest… I don’t feel you’ve been doing the evaluation to us, you’ve been developing it with us. And, because you’re involved across criminal justice, you’ve been able to identify things which might trip us up, or spot opportunities and sign post us to them… I can’t over estimate the value of the relationship we’ve built over time.
“An effective relationship is about a personal professional relationship… I needed to be confident that you understood the business enough to run with it - and you did. I was always very confident to put Crest in front of our key stakeholders”.


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