The VRUs are being established to offer leadership, bring all relevant local organisations together, and provide strategic coordination of the local response to serious violence.
VRUs will support a multi-agency, public health, long-term approach to preventing and tackling serious violence by working in a way which is:
- Focused on a defined population
- With and for communities
- Not constrained by organisational or professional boundaries
- Focussed on generating long term, as well as short term, solutions
- Based on data and intelligence to identify the burden on the population, including any inequalities
- Rooted in evidence of effectiveness to tackle the problem
Uniting Leaders around a shared long-term ambition
To achieve the change that we want to make for people that live, work in or pass through the West Midlands, the VRU has convened an executive oversight group which includes representatives from:
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Crown Prosecution Service
- Local Authorities
- NHSE and NHS Improvement
- Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
- Regional Educational Psychologists network
- Regional Schools Commissioner
- West Midlands Police
- West Midlands Sports Partnership Violence Reduction Board
- Youth Offending Services
This executive group meets to review:
- The programmes development: Our progress against the issues highlighted within the needs assessment and the development of a multi-year partnership response strategy. Chaired by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
- The impact and evaluation of our interventions: In order to support the adoption and roll out of successful interventions. Chaired by Public Health.
- System Change: To support violence reduction initiatives that cross organisational boundaries and to transform the way we work together in local places to protect those most at risk of violence. Chaired by Local Authority representatives.
Engaging wider partnership networks
The VRU builds on a strong legacy of the Violence Reduction Alliance and the Gangs and Violence Commission. Both of these endeavours featured widespread community involvement, and we are keen to preserve that. The VRU has an existing partnership reference group with over 80 members, and the number of people interested in working with us is growing.
In the difficult operating circumstances of the current pandemic, the team are working to bring this group of interested parties together in different ways online. We genuinely believe that everyone has a role to play in violence reduction and look forward to working with people across the region.