£35.5m to support young people at risk of involvement in serious violence
The government yesterday announced a further £35.5 million to help Violence Reduction Units across the country tackle serious violence and prevent young people being drawn into it.
Violence Reduction Units bring together organisations across local communities to tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes. These units also help fund vital local projects that do positive preventative work with children and young people.
This £35.5 million, which covers 2021/22, is the third year of funding for 18 Violence Reduction Units operating across England and Wales in areas worst affected by serious violence. This takes the total invested in Violence Reduction Units to more than £105 million and further delivers on the government’s pledge to crack down on violent crime.
In their first year of activity, initiatives funded by the scheme supported more than 100,000 young people, more than 51,000 of whom were identified as being at high-risk of being involved in criminal and violent activity. They also helped bring police, education leaders, health workers and local government together to share information about the causes of violence and agree a coordinated plan of action to tackle it. This is crucial to preventing crime at a local level. Yesterday’s funding means that they can continue this vital work.
Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday said:
Violence Reduction Units play a vital role in preventing young people from being dragged into the horrors of serious violence, and this funding will enable them to continue this crucial work.
I will continue to back our police with the resources and powers they need to cut crime and make your community safer.
Work funded by Violence Reduction Units has included prevention work in schools, communities, prisons, hospitals, Pupil Referral Units and police custody suites.
The Home Office, in partnership with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, is hosting a virtual Four Nations conference this week, which will be attended by Minister for Crime and Policing Kit Malthouse. The Minister will hear about the significant work taking place to support young people and discuss the importance of tackling serious violence.
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse yesterday said:
Violence Reduction Units are providing life-changing support to young people.
The Four Nations conference brings together expert minds to develop ideas and solutions which will make a real difference in tackling serious violence.
Ultimately these are solutions that will ensure young people are able to lead positive lives and achieve their potential.
Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Lead for Serious Violence and PCC for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson OBE, yesterday said:
Police and Crime Commissioners are pleased that Ministers and the Home Office have recognised the value and ongoing work of our VRUs by committing to another year of funding. Today’s announcement means we will continue to invest in projects which support young people in particular, diverting them away from violence, harm and exploitation.
Robust police enforcement is important in bringing violent offenders to justice and protecting communities. But when partners come together, recognising what can be achieved by adopting a wider public-health approach, we can also address some of the longer-term underlying issues and prevent violence in the first place with effective early intervention measures.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Violence & Vulnerability, Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire, yesterday said:
Less than 2 years ago, Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) were launched to tackle the root causes of serious violence as policing saw an increase in this type of criminality.
In that time, these specialist units, which work in partnership with other agencies, have already made a significant change in how we approach serious violence and vulnerability, allowing targeted and evidenced-based interventions.
We welcome the commitment from government in tackling serious violence and this funding will allow the units to continue to support young people and keep communities safe.
In addition to the funding announced yesterday, more than £2 million is being made available via a winter contingency fund package. This money is being delivered through VRUs to local charities and social enterprises that support vulnerable young people at risk of involvement in violence through the lockdown period.
The money forms part of a wider government drive to tackle crime and make communities safer, which includes bringing in 20,000 additional police officers over the next 3 years, 6,620 of which have already been recruited. Since 2019, the government has also invested £106.5 million to boost police operational capacity in the 18 police forces worst affected by serious violence. This is separate to the funding for VRUs.
The £35.5 million VRU funding announced yesterday for 21/22 is broken down as follows*.
VRU allocation for 21/22
West Midlands: £3,370,000
Greater Manchester: £3,370,000
West Yorkshire: £3,370,000
South Yorkshire: £1,600,000
Thames Valley: £1,160,000
Avon and Somerset: £1,160,000
South Wales: £880,000
*The £35.5 million VRU funding announced yesterday for 21/22 is subject to receiving proposals from VRUs on their use of the funding and to these plans being agreed by the Home Office.
** the remaining funding from the £35.5 million will be spent on evaluation and sharing learning.
Latest News from
Visas extended for thousands of frontline health and care workers09/04/2021 15:20:00
Thousands of crucial frontline health workers and their dependents will be granted free visa extensions, Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced today.
New Director General for Homeland Security announced07/04/2021 16:20:00
New head of Homeland Security took up the role at the beginning of April.
People urged to apply now for British passport07/04/2021 09:10:00
Customers encouraged to not leave their application to the last minute.
Home Office signs legal agreement to improve practices following Windrush01/04/2021 16:10:00
The Home Office has signed a legal agreement with us, setting out the actions it will take to address its failure to comply with equality law when implementing ‘hostile environment’ measures.
Home Secretary tightens restrictions on GHB following horrific crimes31/03/2021 11:10:00
GHB and related substances will be moved from Class C to Class B, meaning they will be harder to access and result in tougher penalties for possession.
Priti Patel leads G6 on security threats and illegal migration25/03/2021 13:33:00
The Home Secretary met interior ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain at a virtual G6.
Home Secretary's statement on the New Plan for Immigration24/03/2021 16:20:00
The Home Secretary made a statement to Parliament setting out the New Plan for Immigration.
New Terms of Reference for the Independent Review of Prevent23/03/2021 11:10:00
The new Terms of Reference for the Independent Review of Prevent were published yesterday, 22 March 2021.