West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit 'In Focus’
9th September 2020
In 2019 the Home Office announced that 18 Police and Crime Commissioners in areas affected by violent crime would share £35 million to establish Violence Reduction Units (VRUs), with a further £35 million provided for 2020/21.
The units provide a multi-agency public health approach – bringing different organisations together – including police, local government, health, education, community leaders and other key partners to understand the root causes of serious violence and provide a co-ordinated strategic response to help drive it down.
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), with Home Office support, has published ‘VRUs In Focus’ demonstrating how VRUs are progressing and their achievements to date despite the challenges of COVID-19. Pages 18 and 19 demonstrate the work taking place in West Yorkshire.
APCC Serious Violence Lead, Mark Burns-Williamson OBE and PCC for West Yorkshire said:
“Serious violence can blight communities and lead to devastating consequences and although the impact is more often felt in our large cities, the problem also reaches into our towns and rural areas.
“Any approach needs to be evidence-based and consistent, investing in effective preventative measures over a sustained period of time.
“Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have a hugely important leading role in tackling serious violence in our communities.
“We have to intervene earlier where necessary, to ensure we provide positive alternatives to those at risk and vulnerable to being drawn into violent crime. I believe PCCs are very well placed to do this, working through local VRUs, to make an impact on the ground. Many good examples of progress already made through VRUs are shown in this special ‘In Focus’ edition.”