£1 million for police to tackle serious violence in Bristol area
POLICE and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has been awarded £1.16m to introduce Violence Reduction Units across Avon and Somerset to tackle serious violence.
It follows a proposal put together by a range of agencies after the announcement by the Home Office in June, which saw £35m provisionally allocated to PCCs in 18 police areas as part of the government’s Serious Violence Strategy.
The VRUs, which will be set up in South Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and Somerset, will bring together different organisations including the police, local government, education, health, community leaders and other key partners to tackle violent crime by understanding its root causes. Funding will also be allocated for prevention and early intervention.
Ms Mountstevens, above, said: “This additional funding to go towards establishing VRUs is an important step as part of longer term work to reduce the harm being caused by serious violence. Concerns quite rightly have been growing across the country as we hear of more tragic instances of lives being lost and, in particular, young people both committing and coming to harm.
“With this in mind, the VRUs will be tasked with identifying the drivers of serious violence and we will work in collaboration with our partners to develop a co-ordinated response to tackle them. What is so important about this initiative is that it bring a wide range of agencies together – I am clear that the police cannot solve this problem alone. We need to ensure that together we are capitalising on opportunities to identify vulnerability and intervene early to prevent the harm that violence causes to individuals, communities and society as a whole.”
Policing minister Kit Malthouse said: “To beat knife crime we must do two things: first we need assertive, high profile police enforcement and second, we need a coordinated approach to the long term solutions to violence in society, especially amongst the young. These new units should help us get results on both.”