Humber Violence Prevention Partnership launches strategy to tackle serious violence
16 November 2023
Local agencies have come together to launch a new plan to prevent people being drawn in to serious violence.
The Humber Violence Prevention Partnership (VPP), which includes the Police and Crime Commissioner, Humberside Police, NHS and four local authorities, has today launched its Response Strategy. The plan was informed by professionals and young people from across the area and focusses on long-term prevention – starting with children as young as primary school age.
The Humber VPP is a Home Office-funded Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), made up of local organisations with a key role to play in preventing and tackling serious violence.
In January 2023, the Serious Violence Duty commenced, requiring specified authorities (all of which are members of the VRU) to work together to share information, collaborate and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence within their local communities. The agencies are required to have a strategy in place to tackle serious violence by January 2024.
The Response Strategy outlines the multiagency response to preventing serious violence in the Humber area, working through a “public health” approach as advocated by the World Health Organisation. This means understanding what leads to violence and acting to prevent it occurring in the first place.
Speaking about the launch, Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison, who chairs the VPP Board, said: “Serious violence is relatively rare but individual acts can have devastating consequences on people’s lives and their families and communities. Violence is never acceptable, and we must do all that we can to stop it in its tracks.
“That’s why we have come together as a partnership to work on the causes of violence, stop bad behaviour escalating and prevent future harm. However, those who do cross the line can expect to face the consequences.
“Embedded within this strategy are interventions aimed at identifying and engaging with individuals causing harm in our communities, addressing the root causes of serious violence, and providing support to enhance the lives of those most susceptible to exploitation.
“We are bringing together services and organisations, all with the shared aim of preventing and tackling serious violence. I am firmly convinced that our region becomes safer when we collaborate for the benefit of our local communities."
The launch comes in the same week as Operation Sceptre, a nationwide police campaign that encourages people to hand in weapons safely and anonymously, with knife bins available at ten Humberside Police stations.
The strategy has been developed following engagement with partners, communities and young people during 2023.
Where available, it also draws on the evidence base of “what works” to prevent serious violence. More details on the actions being taken and how they are being measured are contained in the VPP’s annual delivery plans.
The strategy is comprised of five pillars:
Earlier prevention and intervention - To improve awareness and understanding of serious violence and how it can be prevented. To intervene at the earliest opportunity to address the risk of future violence.
Diversion and support - To divert and support people away from serious violence and to prevent it reoccurring.
Community capacity and leadership - To encourage meaningful co-production and strengthen community capacity to respond to serious violence.
System leadership - For organisations to collaborate effectively to prevent serious violence.
Improved use of data and evidence - To improve the use of data and evidence to inform the response to serious violence across the system.
The Humber VPP currently funds a range of projects and interventions that aim to prevent young people from being drawn into crime.
The programme is for those aged 14-18 and enable to the young people to engage in activities, including boxing skills, fitness, healthy eating, life skills and first aid.
Oliver, who recently completed the programme, feels that the sessions have made a dramatic difference to his life.
He said: "If I didn’t attend these sessions, I’d genuinely be out and about feeling sorry for myself. I very much came into this with a negative attitude and have come out with a positive one. I’d never been able to find my place and I think I’ve finally found that here.”
The Humber VPP have also recently funded the Onside programme, delivered by the Hull FC Community Foundation.
Led by youth coaches with understanding of trauma informed practice and adverse childhood experiences, this is an early intervention approach focused on empowering young people aged 14-17.
Participants will learn to manage conflict, adopt strategies to manage their mental health and be more resilient, and acquire life skills e.g. cooking and money management, that support independence and self-efficacy.
Local delivery plans for East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire are also being developed and will be governed through the four respective Community Safety Partnerships.
This strategy covers the period 2023-2026 and will be reviewed annually. The latest version will be available at humbervpp.org, along with links to the delivery plans.