The Home Office has announced that Lancashire has secured funding of £1.5million for 2023/24. This will be used by the Violence Reduction Network (VRN) to continue its work in preventing serious violence and carrying out early interventions across the county.
The VRN aims to tackle the root causes of violence and helps fund local projects which carry out preventative work with young people. This is achieved through a public health-led partnership approach and brings in specialists from health, police, local authorities, education, youth justice, prisons, probation, and community groups.
The Home Office have set the VRN three key performance indicators which are:
- A reduction in hospital admissions for assaults with a knife or sharp object and especially among those victims aged under 25.
- A reduction in knife-enabled serious violence and especially among those victims aged under 25.
- A reduction in all non-domestic homicides and especially among those victims aged under 25 involving knives.
Director of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, Susannah Clarke said:
“I am immensely proud of what the VRN and its partners have achieved so far, but I also know that there is still so much more that we can do to keep our young people and communities safe.
“This funding from the Home Office will help us to continue tackling the root causes of serious violence and provide interventions that will empower and provide hope for young people across the county.
“Alongside the GRIP funding we have received for increased targeted police action, this will help make a change and turn the tide on serious violence in Lancashire.”
The Violence Reduction Network has already invested significantly into local intervention programmes such as:
- Champions: A bespoke mentorship programme in partnership with nine football community trusts, aimed at young people at risk of, or with experience of offending.
- ED Navigators: Maximising on opportunities for teachable moments amongst those who attend hospital with a violence-related injury.
- Education: Working with schools across Lancashire to become Trauma Informed and to train and educate on topics like Domestic Abuse with resources such as ‘Jack’s Story.’
- Trauma Informed Workforce Development: Working with organisations to create a Trauma Informed county by providing workshops and bespoke products.
- Prisons: Working with people in prison on a trauma responsive programme to understand the impact of their behaviour on themselves and their families.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden added:
“This is fantastic news for Lancashire and means that the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network can continue its important work to prevent and reduce violent crime in Lancashire.
“Getting tough on crime in our communities and ensuring the safety of local residents is my top priority but crime prevention is equally important. Early intervention is a great tool to steer young people away from a life of crime and the projects led by the LVRN do just this, preventing crime and, ultimately, making our county safer.”