William Eichler 21 August 2020

Government announces nearly £3m for violence prevention

Government announces nearly £3m for violence prevention image

The Government has announced that it is committing £2.9m to hundreds of frontline charities working on violence prevention projects.

The funding announcement, which was originally made in April as part of a bigger package, coincides with the publication by the Home Office of an independent evaluation of the work of Violence Reduction Units (VRUs).

The evaluation found that in their first year VRUs invested in 175 programmes designed to help young people at risk of being drawn into violent crime.

These included prevention work in schools, communities, prisons, hospitals, Pupil Referral Units and police custody suites.

Home secretary Priti Patel commented: ‘I am determined to ensure we use every possible tool to stop violent crime happening in the first place.

‘A key part of that mission is protecting children and young people and preventing them from falling into the clutches of criminals.

‘It is encouraging to see the progress these units are making, but we will continue our relentless drive to deliver the safer streets the law-abiding majority deserve.

‘Smaller charities work tirelessly in our communities and this funding will ensure they can continue providing life-changing support.’

In 2019, the Home Office announced that 18 Police and Crime Commissioners in the areas worst affected by violent crime would share £35m to establish VRUs, with a further £35m provided for 2020/21.

VRUs bring together different organisations, including the police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners in local areas, to tackle violent crime by understanding its root causes and driving a co-ordinated response.

The evaluation published today found that of the 100,000 people who were supported as a result of initiatives funded by VRUs in 2019/20, more than 51,000 were identified as potentially high-risk or suspected to be involved in criminal and violent activity.

The remaining young people may live or attend school in an area with high levels of deprivation or crime and were targeted by interventions to increase awareness of the risks.

The funding announced today, which is part of the £750m package of support for charities announced by the Chancellor in April, will benefit more than 300 charities.

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