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The Government has announced £3.37 million in funding to continue the work of the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) for another year, subject to an application from the PCC and partner organisations. This announcement will mean that initiatives already underway to tackle the root causes of violence can continue.

The unit was launched in Autumn 2019 and now has funding through to April 2022. The Violence Reduction Unit brings together different organisations including police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners to prevent serious violence by tackling its root causes.

Funding for the Violence Reduction Unit cannot be spent on additional police officers.

Commenting on the news, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said:

“Securing funding for another year is testament to the strong work already underway by the Violence Reduction Unit.

“To prevent violence we have been investing in a variety of interventions, including community initiatives, mentoring and diversion schemes, school-based support and youth workers in A and E departments to help break the cycle of violence. This funding will mean that work can continue.

“Whilst this funding is welcomed by all in the West Midlands, the government need to put in place long term funding plan instead of the annual process currently. Reducing violence needs a long term strategy and isn’t just a quick fix.

“It is clear also that more funding is required to expand this essential work so we can support many more young people into positive futures.

“I am also concerned that despite already allocating the money to units, the Home Office is adding an extra layer of bureaucracy by making local partnerships apply for the funding again.”

Speaking on behalf of the partnership, VRU director Clare Gollop, said:

“This funding is welcome news and will allow the Violence Reduction Unit to continue its important work for another year. In the West Midlands there is a strong partnership against violence that is working hand in hand with local communities.

“Violence is preventable, not inevitable. We are taking a public health approach to address the causes of violence, and reduce it.”

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