West Yorkshire's Violence Reduction Unit Hosts Workshop in Leeds
Friday 24 January, 2020
West Yorkshire’s emerging Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) hosts workshop to bring together partner agencies and practitioners to help address and tackle the root causes of serious violence.
The event was held yesterday (Thursday 23 January) at Cloth Hall in Leeds and was opened by West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson.
A variety of partner agencies, organisations from all five of the local authority areas in West Yorkshire, Public Health England, NHS, education leads, police and VRU funded projects came together to discuss the challenges in West Yorkshire in relation to violent crime.
In March 2019, the Home Office (as part of their £100million Serious Violence Fund) set aside £35million to help tackle serious violence through early intervention and prevention approaches. It was allocated to the 18 police force areas in England and Wales, including West Yorkshire, and is being spent in partnership with local authority, health and education partners initially based on data around frequency of hospital admissions into Accident and Emergency departments of incidents involving knives or sharp/bladed weapons.
West Yorkshire received £3.37million in funding initially following a coordinated bid through the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) during the Summer of 2019, to be used specifically to set up a Violence Reduction Unit (VRU). The unit is bringing together specialists from health, police, local government, education, youth justice, prisons, probation and community organisations with the aim to better understand and tackle the root causes of violent crime in West Yorkshire communities.
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “This was an important opportunity for all those who have been involved in establishing up the Violence Reduction Unit in West Yorkshire and also the various projects that we have funded to all come together with our partners for the first time
“Whilst creating the VRU, we are aiming to uniquely establish and embed a sustainable long-term approach to tackling violent crime and its underlying causes to help prevent real harm and suffering to individuals, families and communities. This can only happen by working closely with our communities and partners, including the police, local authorities, NHS, public health, voluntary sector, prisons, probation, education, academia and others
“Early intervention and partnership working will be key to the success of the VRU and it’s great that we can join our fellow professionals to develop a much richer picture of what is happening across West Yorkshire and how we can work collaboratively and more effectively to help shape and develop the VRU to have a real impact across West Yorkshire.”