The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) brings together key partners from across Thames Valley to provide a co-ordinated response to tackling serious violence across the region.
This multi-agency approach involves local authorities, health, education, policing, third sector organisations, members of the community and many more, all working together to understand the root causes of serious violence and focussing on place-based problem solving in order to address them.
The VRU takes a public health approach to tackling violence – looking at violence not as isolated incidents or solely a law enforcement problem but instead as a preventable consequence of a range of factors such as adverse early-life experiences or harmful social or community experiences and influences.
Thames Valley’s VRU therefore focusses on four main themes:
Early intervention and prevention
Supporting communities and partnerships
Tackling county lines and the misuse of drugs
Effective law enforcement and the criminal justice response
In 2019 the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley received £1.16m to support the introduction of the VRU. Following a successful launch the funding was renewed in March 2020 with an additional £1.16m.
A range of short and long term activities and interventions are currently being delivered by the VRU including:
Work with schools to develop educational materials for students and parents
Mentoring and detached youth work
Community engagement events
Drug diversion schemes for young people under 18yrs