Police awarded more than £1.1m in further funding to tackle violent crime across Thames Valley area
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley has received confirmation that an additional £1,160,000 of Home Office funding is available to support the work of the Violence Reduction Unit, which helps to prevent individuals from becoming involved in serious violence in the region.
The VRU brings together key partners from across Thames Valley to provide a co-ordinated response to tackling serious violence across the region. This multi-agency approach involves local authorities, health, education, policing, third sector organisations, members of the community and many more, all working together to understand the root causes of serious violence and focussing on place-based problem solving in order to address them.
Matthew Barber, deputy police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley with responsibility for the VRU, said: “The VRU does vital work that is helping to cut serious violence and ultimately save lives. I am delighted that the Home Office are continuing to fund the work of the Violence Reduction Unit and we will ensure that this extra money goes to support services that will reduce crime and violence in our communities.
“The work of the Violence Reduction Unit provides wide-reaching benefits to communities and underpins the strategic priorities for policing across Thames Valley. I am pleased that we have been able to secure this additional funding to tackle serious violence in the region.”
Superintendent Stan Gilmour, director of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, said: “The Violence Reduction Unit works with and for our communities to tackle the root causes of serious violence by bringing great people together with a common focus on prevention.
“The VRU uses the best available data and information to make sure those police officers, staff and partners tackling serious violence know where they need to be present, whom they need to be working with, and how to have the greatest impact.”
Announcing the further £35.5 million of funding to 18 areas, including the Thames Valley, Home Secretary Priti Patel 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.”
The VRU takes a public health approach to tackling violence – looking at violence not as isolated incidents or solely a law enforcement problem but instead as a preventable consequence of a range of factors such as adverse early-life experiences or harmful social or community experiences and influences.