The Alliance launched back in June 2015 with an event bringing together partners in commitment to taking a public health approach to violence prevention. This is described in the Department of Health’s 2012 ‘Protecting People, Promoting Health’ report:
“Many of the key risk factors that make individuals, families or communities vulnerable to violence are changeable, including exposure to adverse experiences in childhood and subsequently the environments in which individuals live, learn and work throughout youth, adulthood and older age. Understanding these factors means we can develop and adopt new public health based approaches to violence. Such approaches focus on the primary prevention of violence through reducing risk factors and promoting protective factors over the life course.”
A large part of Alliance work is promoting, influencing and supporting partners in embedding a public health approach, and implementing interventions with an evidence base, as well as continuing to contribute to the evidence base through proper research and evaluation – see http://westmidlands-vru.org/ and follow us on Twitter @WestMidlandsVPA If you’re interested in finding out more about any of the things we’re doing, or are interested in getting involved, please get in touch! Rachel@violencepreventionalliance.org
A question for us all is “how can I champion preventative work and work with my partners as a system?”
And now for an update of some of the things we’ve been up to over our first few months…
World Health Organization membership
We attended the annual WHO meeting of international Violence Prevention Alliances – the ‘7th Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention Meeting. There was a great deal of interest in the work happening in West Midlands. This has led to some promising partnerships, particularly with colleagues at the Centre for Public Health.
Injury Surveillance System
PHE’s national Field Epidemiology Service are hosting this new work, building an enhanced Injury Surveillance system in line with the evidence from the Cardiff Model of analysing A&E and police data to improve our understanding of violence and therefore improve partner responses. The system aims to scale up over time, looking to test other data sets.
Mentors in Violence Prevention scheme
We’ll soon be working with a number of schools to pilot and evaluate locally the highly acclaimed MVP programme, which is being widely implemented across Scotland. The approach is highly engaging, using a bystander approach, incorporating peer mentorship and encouraging young people to see themselves as leaders and active citizens. See http://mvpscotland.org.uk/ for more info
Local Violence Needs Assessments
We’re working with police and public health colleagues in our local authority areas to produce a violence needs assessment for their area, building on the regional violence profile which kick started the Alliance. These will show us the needs in each area and look at opportunities to work in partnership.
WMP and ambulance data pilot
Supported by a successful Police Innovation Fund bid West Midlands Police, alongside Cambridgeshire Police, Metropolitan Police Service (London), Cambridge University and the respective Ambulance Services, are beginning a pilot project to draw together police and ambulance data for analysis. The analysis will test how effectively Ambulance data can be used to enrich our understanding of violence, particularly violence seen by the Ambulance Services which isn’t reported to the police or other services.