Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane has been awarded £880,000 by the Home Office to set up a Violence Reduction Unit in Hampshire.
The Commissioner worked closely with Hampshire Constabulary and the four top tier authorities to develop a collaborative bid for the funding which was awarded today.
The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) will focus on tackling the root causes of violence through a programme of early intervention with young people and local communities.
Working with relevant partners and agencies including health, education, social services, probation, policing and Community Safety Partnerships, the VRU will bring together existing multi-agency work already taking place into one system, or network, of evidence, support and intervention to prevent violence.
A central team based at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will work with devolved ‘hubs’ based in the four top tier authorities, each tasked with developing an analysis of the drivers of serious violence in their area and a strategy to address them. This will ensure a specific response tailored to the needs of local communities, rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Communities and young people themselves will be drawn in to share their insight and ideas to help shape the strategies.
The Hampshire VRU is one of 18 being established across the country with Home Office funding. The funding follows a £1.26 million Home Office grant to Hampshire Constabulary earlier this year to carry out enforcement activity around serious violence that will link in to preventative work undertaken by the VRU.
Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane said:
“I am delighted to receive this funding which is a result of productive partnership working between those integral to tackling violence in our communities.
“Reaching young people early, building their skills and resilience and supporting them to fulfil their potential is the best way to reduce violence. A Violence Reduction Unit in Hampshire is an opportunity to bring additional capacity and focus to the existing multi-agency work going on and draw it together in order to maximise our footprint on prevention.”
Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney added:
“We welcome this funding and the opportunities it will give us to do even more to prevent violence in our communities.
“Violence in all its forms has a devastating effect on individuals, their families and the wider community. This money will enable us to do more to tackle those who commit violent offences in our streets and in our homes, but it will also enable us to work closely with our partners such as health and education to intervene early and prevent young people from being drawn into a life of violence.”