Safer Stronger

Violence Reduction Units from across the country work together to prevent violence

As the national violence reduction programme enters its third year, violence reduction units (VRUs) from across England and Wales will meet on Thursday (15 July) to evaluate their progress in reducing violence and helping to build more stronger, more resilient communities.

Launched in 2019, VRUs bring together different organisations, including the police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners to tackle violent crime by understanding its root causes.

VRUs adopt a public health approach to violence reduction; this means focusing on understanding the root causes of the problem and on testing, evaluating and upscaling interventions. Considering factors such as physical environment, health and education, can help to identify the interventions that will be most successful.

In Greater Manchester, the VRU works closely with the local community to tackle serious violence; local residents are actively involved in identifying solutions to prevent young people becoming engaged in violence and finding positive alternatives such as youth clubs and sports teams.

Since October 2019, there has been a 13% decrease in average monthly knife-related hospital admissions compared to the previous 18 months in Greater Manchester. In 2020, nearly 12,500 victims of violent crime were referred to commissioned support services.

The VRU national conference provides opportunity to hear from experts across the country on key themes such as the role of education in reducing violence and provides an opportunity to learn from other units and collaborate with peers.

Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for policing and crime, Bev Hughes, is keen to share learnings and challenges with other VRUs to ensure progress continues. “In the past three years, Greater Manchester’s VRU has had a positive effect on the number of crimes in our city-region and it is also helping to raise hopes and aspirations of our young people.

“Greater Manchester is pleased to work alongside other VRUs to deliver the national conference, which will highlight some of the common and persistent challenges that VRUs across the country face. Although we can see that positive change is underway, there is still work to do and to overcome the challenges we face, we need to take action together.”

The conference will be attended by representatives from all 18 VRUs across England and Wales. Local, regional, and national stakeholders – people already working within violence reduction or those who would like to find out more about how these systems could work better together – are invited to join the conference. For more information contact,

For further information about Greater Manchester’s VRU click here.

Article Published: 12/07/2021 11:00 AM