- Government initiative to turn young people away from violent crime has prevent more than 3,200 violent injuries since 2019.
- More than £20million has been invested in the scheme in Merseyside, helping to support projects such as The Beacon Project dedicated to supporting primary school children in areas with high levels of violence.
- Latest national statistics show that since 2019, hospital admissions for stabbings are down 24 per cent.
Young people across Merseyside are being turned away from violent crime, as new statistics published today show that the government’s Violence Reduction Units have helped prevent thousands of serious attacks across the country.
New research published by the government today shows that, nationally, an estimated 3,220 hospital admissions for any violent injury have been prevented since 2019 thanks to Violence Reduction Units working in local communities.
Established in 2019, Violence Reductions Units bring together local partners in policing, education, health and local government to steer young people away from a life of crime. These are now active in 20 areas across England and Wales, focused in areas with a high prevalence of serious violence.
In Merseyside, to date, more than 95,000 young people have been supported by the scheme and encouraged to turn their lives away from serious violent crime.
“The government is continuing to clamp down on crime and keep our streets safe. Serious violence is down 24% since 2019 but it is clear this is a complex issue and early intervention is key.
“This is why we have already provided over £20 million directly into Merseyside. Today’s report proves we are going in the right direction to help at-risk young people.
“Alongside hotspot patrols and record numbers of police officers on our streets, the multi-agency VRUs will continue to help us make every community a safe and prosperous place to live.”Policing Minister Chris Philp
Some of the projects supported through this initiative include offering specialist support to young person admitted to A&E, following a violent attack. This can include mental health support, referrals to specialist health treatments and offering mentoring to ensure they avoid a cycle of violence.
One successful project in Merseyside is the Beacon Project. This sees the fire and rescue service work with primary schools in the area offering them a six-week alternative educational and skills course for pupils who need additional support, alongside their usual classes.
This is focused on making sure more young people attend their classes and less are excluded due to poor behaviour, as well as boosting confidence and key skills among students.
Earlier this year, the programme celebrated its 200th group of children pass the course and data from Liverpool John Moores University has shown that good behaviour among these pupils is up by over a third, according to their teachers.
“The Beacon Course has been amazing for our children; we live in a very deprived area and the families struggle. The teamwork shown by the pupils was amazing, it gave the group confidence, and they trusted each other.
“The pupils were involved in activities they would never normally get the chance to do. The staff encouraged each child to ‘have a go’.
“Nobody was left behind. The attendance was 100% each week and behaviour in school improved.”Teacher from a participating school
“We are committed to acting early to prevent young people from going down the wrong path.
“Our Beacon project is a fantastic example of how we are giving the young people who need it most in our region access to better opportunities. Opportunities that evidence shows is increasing their confidence, skills, and aspirations, improving their safety awareness and is forging more positive relationships with the police and fire service.
“This is crucial to building brighter futures, keeping young people safe and away from violence.”Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership’s Director Supt Georgie Garvey
Latest national statistics show that since 2019, hospital admissions for stabbings are down 24 per cent as the government continues its effort to combat all forms of serious violence.
Further investment into the ‘Grip’ hotspot policing programme, which operates in the same 20 areas as Violence Reductions Units, is also helping to reduce serious violence by using data to identify key hotspots and target more high-visibility police patrols in those areas.
Nationwide, Violence Reductions Units have supported more than 270,000 young people in their fourth year of operation alone. This has been backed by £160 million of government support, including £55m being invested this year.
The Home Office is also investing £200 million in the Youth Endowment Fund to understand how to better prevent youth violence. This provides funding for more than 230 organisations, reaching over 117,000 young people since it was set up in 2019.
Recent data has also shown that more than 120,000 weapons have been removed from Britain’s streets since 2019 – with almost half through stop and searches.