DIVERT is a police service intervention programme
aimed to reduce re-offending.

divert logo

It is delivered in police custody suites by New Era Foundation, and aims to DIVERT young adults between 18-25 years away from crime.

DIVERT addresses a gap in the statutory provision for young adults, and is in operation in custody suites across London, Lancashire and the Thames Valley.

DIVERT Custody Intervention Coaches explain the numerous paths that the individual can be referred to and follow this with a long term development plan to assist them in fulfilling their own goals, relating to education, training and employment.

Where DIVERT Work

Thames Valley

  • Loddon Valley
  • Reading
  • Maidenhead
  • Milton Keynes
  • Aylesbury
  • Abingdon
  • Banbury


  • Brixton
  • Lewisham
  • Walworth
  • Croydon
  • Wood Green
  • Leyton
  • Wembley
  • Bethnal Green
  • Stoke Newington
  • Holborn
  • Hammersmith
  • Wandsworth (2022)
  • Fresh Wharf, Barking (2022)


  • Lancashire
  • Preston
  • Blackpool
  • Lancaster
  • Blackburn
  • Burnley

Initial DIVERT Intervention Process


Young adult is arrested and brought into police custody.


Young adult is visited by a Custody Intervention Coach whilst in police custody.


Young adult is provided with an opportunity to have a private consultation with the Custody Intervention Coach outside the cell.


A private reflection discussion is held between the young adult and Custody Intervention Coach in a consultation room.


The young adult provides reachable contact details.

Community Process


Relationship is maintained and continued outside of police custody in the community where; 

Information, advice and guidance
Personal development


Opportunities are sourced and provided through organisations and partnering agencies.


This process runs alongside the criminal justice process and has no bearing on the outcome of the police investigation.

DIVERT Founders

Ann-Marie Willison-Nurse

Ann-Marie is a graduate of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and holds an LLB Hons in Law amongst other qualifications. Ann-Marie brings 15 years of experience working within the criminal justice sector in various areas, as well as a wealth of knowledge when it comes to working with individuals affected by both violent and non violent crime and their families.

Ann-Marie is passionate about deterring the young generation away from a life of crime and takes great pride in helping them to realise their full potential and deter them from entering or remaining within the criminal justice system.

Ann-Marie has worked on DIVERT since its inception in 2015 and has had a major input into its success. Ann-Marie’s unique style, hard work, determination and drive has ensured that DIVERT has and is achieving outstanding results in the reduction of re-offending.

Jack Rowlands

Jack is a Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector and currently works at London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

In his 18 years service he experienced the impact of violence on society first hand. Since 2010 he has concentrated on tackling the root causes of violence and has spent the last decade finding solutions to combat it.

Jack is a former trustee of the WAVE trust helping to advise government and policy makers around best practice to tackle violence during those critical early years. During that time Jack was recognised by the Howard League for the creation of the Jobs Fairs programme that worked with young gang members caught up in violence across London.

In 2015 Jack founded the DIVERT programme, a Metropolitan Police custody diversion programme, designed to help 18-25s away from crime into employment, education and training. This has resulted in DIVERT helping over 2000 young people who have come through police custody with just over half finding employment, education and training, as a result other VRUs across the UK have adopted the programme.

In April 2020 The London VRU began funding DIVERT and expanded it across London. Jack, working collaboratively, has also implemented DIVERT Youth, a collaborative diversion scheme working with Lambeth Council helping 10-18 year olds from becoming first time entrants into the CJS system. This has also developed further with the creation of the DIVERT app that allows officers to refer young people they come into contact with an intervention worker.

In his capacity at the VRU Jack advises boroughs and MPS colleagues around best practice and governance in reducing violence and helps to support innovative new ways of preventing violence.

Jack is also the chair for the Home Office’s teachable moments working group, joining all VRUs together to explore ways of intervening with young people at a critical time this has led to a direct fund created by the Home Office to support those VRUs in developing those concepts.

Jack Rowlands
Jack Rowlands


Nick Darvill

Head of Operations

Ann-Marie Willison-Nurse

Senior Program Manager

Paul Elliott CBE


Tom Gaymor


David Clarke

Lancashire Program Manager

Rob Murray

Divert Programme Manager – Thames Valley

Gavin James

CIC – Wycombe Wanderers FC

Aaron Johnson

CIC – Crystal Palace FC

Alexandra Stroia

CIC – Bethnal Green

Kate Ruby

Program Manager – London

Melanie Harris


Shane Hudson

CIC – Accrington Stanley

Olivia Preston

CIC – Burnley

Manuel Mascarenhas

CIC – Varying Locations

Lyden Roberts

CIC – Reading

Angel Videyra

CIC – Brixton

Joshua Wilson

CIC – Oxford United

Donna De Gale

CIC – London

Ros Holsborough

CIC – Wood Green