Funding awarded to violent crime prevention scheme

A Weston charity as been awarded funding by the North Somerset Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to dist

North Somerset's Violence Reduction Unit has held sessions in schools to warn young people about violent crimes. - Credit: Archant

A multi-agency initiative which aims to reduce violent crime among young people in Avon and Somerset has received more than £1million of funding from the Home Office.

The Strategic Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is made up of the Avon and Somerset police, local authorities, public health, charities, and community groups.

Avon and Somerset's deputy police crime commissioner is grateful for the funding given the 'crucial' work it helps his team carry out.

John Smith has been appointed as Avon and Somerset police’s deputy PCC. Picture: Laura Hesketh

Deputy PCC for Avon and Somerset Police, John Smith. - Credit: Archant

John Smith said: “We welcome the announcement from the Home Office of renewed funding to help us build on our public health approach to tackling the root causes of these terrible offences that are having a devastating impact on our communities.

“I am delighted with the progress of our VRUs so far and especially the commitment from our partners but there remains much to do and we will continue to work with our colleagues to progress this crucial initiative.”

North Somerset's VRU was founded in 2019 and has since set up multiple programmes to help prevent serious violent crimes among its younger population.

The Sibling Risk programme was created to work with siblings and children of violent crime offenders being handled by professional services. It was designed to provide diversion and opportunities to steer away from violence using agency and community resources.

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Another example of the VRU's initiatives in the district includes its education programme which involves sessions in schools to support young people at a grassroots level to raise awareness, identify risks and build relationships with those at risk of serious violence.

Stock Image Police Jacket Sign. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

More than £1million has been granted to Avon and Somerset Police to reduce the number of violent crimes committed by young people. - Credit: Archant

Policing minister, Kit Malthouse said: “We know that people want safer streets and communities and that is what we are committed to delivering. 

“The Avon and Somerset Violence Reduction Unit has a central role to play in steering young people away from lives of crime and violence."

In total, £1.16million has been granted to Avon and Somerset police and crime commissioner to aid its VRUs and prevent young people from being pulled into a life of crime.

It has not yet been announced how the £1.16million will be divided between the different units.

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