£4.9 million to support young people at risk of involvement in serious violence in Yorkshire
Funding will go towards Violence Reduction Units working to tackle serious violence
Part of wider £35.5 million investment supporting targeted areas
Units have already supported over 100,000 young people across England and Wales
A further £4.97 million will be available next financial year to help Violence Reduction Units in Yorkshire, the government has today (8 February) announced.
Within the Yorkshire area, funding is being allocated to West and South Yorkshire police forces via Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), who will receive up to £3.37 million and £1.6 million respectively.
Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) bring together organisations across local communities to tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes. They also help fund vital local projects that work to prevent children and young people from being drawn into serious violence.
The funding, which is for 2021/22, marks the third year of funding for 18 units across England and Wales in areas worst affected by serious violence. This takes the total invested nationally to £105.5 million and further delivers on the government’s pledge to crack down on violent crime.
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said:
We are delivering long-term solutions for safer streets and communities, and preventing serious violence is a crucial part of this.
Working closely with key partners, Violence Reduction Units in Yorkshire are deepening understanding of the drivers of serious violence and developing innovative ways to tackle it.
This funding will allow them to continue vital work and change the course of young lives for the better.
In their first year of activity, initiatives funded by the VRU scheme supported more than 100,000 young people, more than 51,000 of whom were identified as potentially being at high risk of becoming involved in criminal activity.
Keith Tordoff MBE , Prospective Police Fire and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire:
The announcement by the Home Office (H.O.) of funding for support of young people at risk of involvement of serious violence in Yorkshire must be welcomed.
Whilst appreciating criminal activity is not restricted by county boundaries, the H.O. statement only refers to the funding being allocated to West and South Yorkshire, with no mention of North Yorkshire.
With the question mark over North Yorkshire as to whether it is to receive funding I can only generalise on the ethos of funding for Violence Reduction Units ( VRU ) to support young people.
Any efforts by the Police, partners and other agencies to engage with young people to help them avoid getting involved in criminal activities must be a priority. Working to protect our young people from being drawn into or exploited by seasoned criminals can only be achieved through education and mentoring young vunerable people to be good citizens or even community leaders. From a time when children and young people have not been attending school, college or University the challenge going forward will be greater than it ever has been.
Until a normality is returned to every day life no one can be sure of the social problems that will face the Police and other agencies.
If elected Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire I will be looking to work with the Chief Constable, Chief Fire Officer and other partners to engage with young people to guide them away from entering into a life of Crime.
As PFCC I would be looking to to recruit youth workers, open youth centres, closed because of Government cuts since 2012, giving young people the opportunity to socialise and enjoy activities, stopping them from just hanging around.
There is a better way.
Commenting Philip Allott, Prospective Police Fire and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire, said:
The Conservative government is investing significant sums of money into tackling law and order issues and it is great to see that Yorkshire is benefiting from further funding to support young people at risk of involvement in serious violence, above that already allocated to recruit significantly more police officers.
The grant from central government has been earmarked for West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire where crime rates across the board including youth violent crime are much higher. In contrast North Yorkshire has the lowest crime rate in England.
However, there is some great youth crime reduction work already taking place in North Yorkshire and York, examples include Youth Crime Prevention, which works with the Youth Justice Service (YJS) to support young people who have received cautions for threatened violence, those on the edge of crime and young people who are at risk of getting into trouble. Current funding comes from central and local government, which supports both the activities of the organisations and lots of enthusiastic community volunteers.
In North Yorkshire there is also an established PFCC Community Fund which is specifically for local organisations, groups or individuals who need money to help fund new community safety projects. The Community Fund also allows applications for initiatives that involve reducing violent youth crime, which I will look to extend if elected in May.