West Yorkshire receives £3.3m for Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) approaches to help tackle violent crime (18 June 2019)

Today's £3,370,000 allocation, in addition to the £4.02million 'surge' monies already awarded since May this year, is all part of the £100million funding pot announced by the Home Office in March as part of its intention to help crack down on violent crime.

Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Yorkshire, and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) Serious Violence Lead, said: "Any additional funding to tackle knife and violent crime is of course to be welcomed.

"However, I have long since advocated a whole system public health approach to reducing violence in our communities and the new investment in establishing Violent Crime Reduction approaches is an important step forward, but it has to be sustainable over a longer period if it is to have a real impact.

"For West Yorkshire this will mean working more closely with partners to take a multi-agency approach, bringing together police, local authorities, the NHS, voluntary sector and other key partners to help tackle violent crime and its underlying causes.

"It also further builds on a number of Early Intervention Youth Funded (EIYF) work we are already doing across the county with partners to intervene earlier and help address the causes of serious crime and violence before it escalated into something more serious.

"I have been keen to see this additional funding arrive as soon as possible as we are already 3 months into this financial year and it's very frustrating that it has taken this long to arrive, and perhaps another indication of Government paralysis due to Brexit. Reducing violence is a long-term challenge requiring sustained funding and support.

"It is essential that funding beyond this first year is found as part of a Government priority within the forthcoming spending review and something which I hope the current Prime Ministerial candidates will ponder on very closely.

"As I have said before, it will be only through sustained early intervention and prevention work with our young people, schools, partners and communities that we will be able to effectively tackle knife and violent crime in the long run.

"I will continue to highlight the need for a long term whole system approach by Government, which needs to be put in place and properly supported at all levels."

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, today (18 June 2019) announced he has provisionally allocated £35 million to Police and Crime Commissioners in 18 local areas to set up violence reduction units.

Violence reduction units will take a multi-agency approach, bringing together police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners to tackle violent crime and its underlying causes.

Violence reduction units will be responsible for identifying the drivers of serious violence locally and developing a coordinated response to tackle them.

The 18 local areas awarded money will set out plans demonstrating how they will use their provisional allocation to build a public health approach delivering both short and long-term action ahead of being awarded the funding in the coming weeks.

The Home Office will work closely with the violence reduction units to assess how the funding is being used to strengthen the response to serious violence.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019