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Funding announced to reduce violent crime in Humber region


The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Humberside, Jonathan Evison, has welcomed a Government funding announcement to tackle violent crime in our region.

The Home Office announced today that the Humberside policing area will join 19 other regions by establishing a Violence Reduction Unit to identify the causes of violent crime and lead the local response to reducing violence through targeted interventions and education.

Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) were first established in 2019 in 18 police force areas deemed to have the highest rates of violent crime or which showed an increasing trend of offences. In the three years since their launch some significant improvements in reducing violence have been demonstrated in those regions and from today Humberside and Cleveland have also been nominated to commission their own VRUs.

The Home Office have invited the PCC’s Office to apply for £1.853m of funding to establish and operate the VRU over the coming year. This includes over £400,000 of ‘Grip’ funding to support the police to take additional enforcement activity in specific locations that are most affected by violent crime. The Home Office have guaranteed to provide funding for a further two years once the VRU is established.

The VRU will be a partnership between the PCC, Humberside Police, the four local Council Authorities, local NHS, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, and Youth Offending Teams working closely with young people, community groups and education providers. They will be required to collaborate to create intervention programmes to work with people who may be at risk of offending and existing offenders to cut violent crime, reduce the number of victims and create safer communities. The partnership will be required to look at the root causes of violence, work in partnership to stop violence before it starts, halt the progression of violence once it has already begun and provide ways out for people already involved in violent behaviour, building on existing work. There will be a particular emphasis on working with children and young people and developing early intervention and prevention programmes to stop violent behaviour from occurring in the first place.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison said: “This announcement marks the start of what will become a long-term project to tackle and prevent violent crime in our communities. The Humber region does not experience the levels of serious violence seen elsewhere in the country such as knife or gun crime, but we do have violence disproportionately affecting women and girls and a national trend which has seen violence steadily increase over recent years means we should not be complacent and this is not an issue which can be solved by police enforcement alone.

“I will seek to establish the Violence Reduction Unit with a number of other local agencies to identify the root causes of violence and adopt an approach to understanding the factors which lead people to commit violence, whether in the home or the community, and work with them to address their behaviour. It is important that we also work to prevent violence from occurring at all, so educational programmes will be developed to engage with young people to steer them away from committing violent crime in the first place.

“The first step is to bring together all the organisations required to be involved and work together to develop a proposal to share information in order to identify vulnerable children and young adults at risk and help steer them away from a life of crime and violence.

“As well as dealing with the causes of violent crime, we also need to focus on stronger enforcement toward crime that is already happening, so I’m pleased that part of this funding will support Humberside Police to increase their activities in identified locations where violence occurs, which will lead to more patrols targeting those who commit violent crime, more convictions, fewer victims and safer communities.

“We have already started work on our proposal to the Home Office and I will give a further update once funding has been secured and work on developing the VRU can begin.”

Humberside Police Chief Constable Lee Freeman said: “The force has recently benefited from Grip funding of more than £390,000 to establish a hotspot policing trial across the region. This hyper-targeted police operation has enabled us to increase patrols in more than 100 hotspot locations across the region, with a view to driving down crime in those areas. The pilot has enabled us to complete an additional 1,700 hours of policing on top of our usual policing and it is having a positive impact. We’ve seen an overall reduction in crime, better detection rates and positive outcomes for victims. Most importantly, it has given us the chance to re-connect with our communities on a personal level.

“Identifying and targeting hotspots is not a new tactic in policing, but by deploying dedicated officers in the right place at the right time, for the places with the highest volume and highest harm rating of serious violent crime, it is proving that we can have a significant positive impact on our communities.”

Click here to read the announcement from the Home Office 

Posted on Friday 1st April 2022