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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has secured £3.37 million of government funding to continue the work of the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

The unit was launched in Autumn 2019 and now has funding through to April 2021. 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.

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 initiatives, including activities for young people, mentoring schemes and youth workers in A and E departments to help break the cycle of violence. This funding will help continue the unit’s work.

“Whilst this funding is welcomed by all in the West Midlands, the government needs to know that a real long term funding solution is still very much needed and government also needs to give PCCs and Violence Reduction Units the flexibility to spend this money effectively on prevention and policing responses.

“I am also still concerned that since 2010 West Midlands Police has lost 2,131 officers and is only expecting to receive funding for around 1,200 officers out of the government’s uplift programme.”

Dr Sue Ibbotson, Public Health England (PHE) West Midlands Centre Director, said:

“Violence is preventable, not inevitable. By taking a public health approach, agencies across the region can work together to understand and address the causes of violence, and reduce it.

“This must however be a sustained effort, so we are very grateful to the Home Office for this additional funding, which will help us to continue the excellent work being done by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit.”

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