Local authorities have welcomed a £130m raft of funding from the Government to tackle serious violent crime across the country, with investment into policing, education and collaboration with local government and other stakeholders.
Local authorities and various public sector organisations are involved in the identification and reduction of violent crime, with new funding allowing for regional partners to build on the work already being delivered.
Approximately £64m of the funding is set to go to the existing 18 Violence Reduction Units (VRU), which bring together local partners across policing, education, health and local government to identify and help those who might become involved in crime.
This proactive approach to crime prevention is seen as a more human and cost-effective way of intervening, tackling the root cause of violent and serious crime before it progresses into more serious levels of criminality.
Funding will also go towards establishing two further VRUs in Cleveland and Humberside.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our Beating Crime Plan is delivering 20,000 more police officers to our streets and galvanising all parts of the public sector to collaborate to tackle serious violence.
“This very approach lies at the heart of our Violence Reduction Units and as set out today, we’re seeing some extremely encouraging signs of progress.”
A further £30m funding will also go to the ‘Grip’ police enforcement programme. Also called ‘hotspot policing’ it involves police forces operating regular, intensive and high-visibility police foot patrols for short periods of time within specific areas where data analysis shows there is a risk of serious violence.
Local authorities, as a common collector of various data streams, can work to support these police forces by feeding in crucial aggregating data to permit more accurate analysis.
The remainder of the funding package will support the implementation of the new Serious Violence Duty and Serious Violence Reduction Orders, being brought into law via the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer Stronger Communities Board, Cllr Mohan Iyengar, said: “Violence Reduction Units are a valuable resource that are helping to reduce serious violence and crime, so it is extremely positive to see they will be extended to new areas and benefit from multi-year funding settlements which will allow for councils and partners to enhance the development of locally focused preventative strategies, something which the LGA has previously called for.
“We’re also pleased to see the funding package will work in tandem with central and local efforts to tackle violence against women and girls.
“In addition to this work, it will be important that guidance set out to accompany the forthcoming serious violence duty aligns with efforts to tackle violence against women and girls, and domestic abuse.”