The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit has secured funding to place youth workers in Dudley’s Russells Hall Hospital A&E unit, in a bid to tackle violent crime.
The scheme will see tailored support for people aged 25 and under who are caught up in serious youth violence, or affected by sexual violence or abuse by supporting the young people concerned.
Clinical staff will alert the youth workers when they believe they have identified someone who is caught up in a cycle of violence or exploitation, either as a victim or a perpetrator.
The youth workers are on hand to offer the opportunity to talk and plan what is needed to address any underlying issues and interrupt the cruel cycle of violence which many young people get caught in.
The money, obtained from the Home Office, means there are now six A&E departments across our region with youth workers in them including Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands, Children’s Hospital, as well as, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital.
In total there will be three youth workers based at the Russells Hall site after funding was secured until March 2022.
The Violence Reduction Unit was established in 2019 to tackle the causes of crime following a public health approach and works closely with partners to put in place innovative projects like this one.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, said: “I’m delighted the Violence Reduction Unit has expanded this A&E programme to Dudley.
“The work St Giles do is fantastic and is all about the prevention of violence, safeguarding young people and saving lives.
“We know we can’t arrest our way out of the problem of violence and the VRU has been tasked with tackling the root causes, before it’s too late or worsens further still.”
Meanwhile, Steve Clarke from the St Giles Trust, said: “It is well documented that violence amongst young people is a serious issue and an issue we need to tackle.
“Through the support of the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit we have been able to expand our service into Dudley’s A&E department.
“This will give us an opportunity to engage with those individuals in their hour of need and our youth workers will be on hand to offer tailored support to lead them away from the violence that caused them to end up in hospital in the first place.”
Keep up to date with news stories about the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Go to the Press Office.