Safer Stronger

£1million boost to help tackle violent crime in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has received £1million in funding to develop and trial a new programme in the city of Manchester which aims to help people leave a life of violent crime behind them.

The financial boost is part of a £6million joint investment, shared between a number of different regions across England, from the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) and Home Office. The investment is to enable those areas to trial ‘focused deterrence’ - a strategy developed in the USA.

Focused deterrence attempts to identify the people most likely to be involved in violence and supports them to stop. Projects have worked with children as young as 14 or 15.

It involves:

  • Support. Help for people involved in violence to access positive support and social services.
  • Community engagement. Engaging the wider community to communicate that they want violence to stop and those involved to be safe, provide support, and encourage reintegration in the community. Projects will often arrange engagement between the people who are the focus of the intervention and victims’ family members, reformed former group members, and faith leaders.
  • Deterrence. Clear communication of the consequences of violence and swift and certain enforcement if violence does occur.

Research from the YEF shows that focused deterrence strategies in other countries have been highly effective – on average reducing crime by 33 per cent. YEF and Home Office are investing in learning more about what impact it could have in England. Greater Manchester’s VRU has been awarded £1million to develop this. The project will be subject to rigorous evaluation, to learn how well it works to make the city of Manchester safer.

It will bring a number of different agencies and community groups – including the police, housing providers, faith leaders and schools – together, taking a partnership approach to ending violence.

Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice, and fire, Bev Hughes, said: “I’m really pleased that the city of Manchester is set to receive this funding so we can trial a new, innovative approach that has achieved success in other countries in preventing people from committing violent crimes. If this project is able to impact just one person in the city of Manchester, then it has potentially saved a life.

“This will build on the work our Violence Reduction Unit is already carrying out across our city region to engage with people and prevent these terrible crimes from being committed. We see far too often the devastating consequences they have on our communities and those who lose loved ones to shocking incidents which are sadly preventable. We must do all we can to tackle these issues, and this approach which combines support with swift enforcement action, is another way we can now do that.”

Amanda Solloway MP, Minister for Safeguarding, said: “Serious violence has a devastating impact on individuals and communities. This year, the Government has invested £130m to address serious violence and homicide, delivering our twin-track approach which combines tough enforcement with early intervention to divert young people away from crime. As part of this, we are committed to testing and evaluating what really works to prevent violence. This is why we are providing £3m to the Youth Endowment Fund to test the Focused Deterrence approach in the UK context.”

Jon Yates, Executive Director at the Youth Endowment Fund, said: “From Chicago to Glasgow, focused deterrence has saved lives. When we get the police and the community to work together, we can identify and support young people and pull them away from crime and violence. This has worked across the world. We now need to get it working in England. Together, we can make sure that every child’s life is free from violence.”

To find out more about the investment, please visit: Agency Collaboration Fund: Another chance - Youth Endowment Fund


Article Published: 05/09/2022 16:58 PM