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East Lancashire prevention group launched to tackle serious violence

The Lancashire Violence Reduction Network (VRN) has launched an East Lancashire partnership group to help support young people and tackle serious violence.  

Consisting of NHS workers, Police officers, Champions mentors, Education Partnership Officers and VRN staff, the group will be working together to support young people involved in serious violence.  

These organisations have joined forces to help fill in the gaps when crimes are not reported to the police and therefore improve public safety with community insight. This is a unique opportunity to review and reflect on latest information, make decisions on prevention and interventions for young people, and hold each other accountable for following through with those actions. 

Within the team there are,  

  • Emergency Department Navigators who work across the A&E departments in Blackburn, Burnley and Accrington and engage with young people who present in A&E with an injury linked to violence. They will try to understand how the young person has become involved in violence and provide help and support. This support will continue once they leave hospital to help steer them away from further incidents.  
  • Serious Violence Sergeants from Lancashire Constabulary who lead on hotspot policing in the local areas. This involves identifying violent areas through crime data and providing additional police resources to prevent incidents occurring.  
  • Champions mentors who work with young people on a mentorship basis to divert them away from offending. The Champions programme receive referrals from education, prison and probation services, health, police, social care, youth justice and self-referrals.  
  • Education Partnership Officers (EPOs) who will work closely with the team to contribute to early intervention strategies. They will identify potential challenges or risks and implement preventive measures, ensuring that students receive timely support. 

The group will meet regularly to discuss cases, trends, and progress. ED Navigators will gather basic information from each assault victim, including location of the incident, time of day and weapon involved. Keeping the data anonymous, they will then share this data with the partnership group to help identify ‘hot spots’ for violent crime. 

 Operational Lead of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, Chief Inspector Dave Oldfield said: “We are really excited to have been able to get this group together here in East Lancashire. Whilst each of them are doing amazing work individually, bringing together that partnership approach is going to have a significant impact.”   

“Violence involving young people in Lancashire is a complex issue to navigate, and not one that one organisation can deal with alone. By bringing together different services, we can hopefully move away from working individually on short-term interventions and instead work together to prevent violence in the short, medium, and long term.” 

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