How the Violence Reduction Unit is tackling the root causes of crime

17 July 2019

Policing alone won’t end the cycle of violence on our streets. Our Violence Reduction Unit takes a fundamentally different approach to tackling violence, by identifying the root causes and delivering early interventions to help prevent its spread.

This means intervening at critical moments in a young person’s life when they’re experiencing things that could increase the chance of them getting involved in violence. 

To achieve this goal, we’re bringing together specialists from the NHS, the police, local government, probation and community organisations to understand the underlying causes of violent crime and to be ready to intervene when needed. 

Our Violence Reduction Unit is working to cut crime in a number of ways:

  • Expanding after-school provision in high-crime areas - following data showing that violent incidents involving young people aged 10-16 are more likely to happen at the end of the school day.

  • Supporting the often-difficult transition from primary to secondary school - the Stepping Stones programme supports vulnerable year sevens as they start secondary school.

  • Supporting schools to reduce school exclusions - following a massive increase in children being excluded from schools and children in care not receiving the support they need.

  • Extra support for young people affected by domestic violence – following figures showing 13 percent of serious youth violence victims are victims of domestic violence, and evidence of the link between involvement in violence and children witnessing violence in the home.

  • Supporting vulnerable parents to help create stronger families – including those who are victims of domestic violence or sexual offences.  

  • Providing better training for youth workers and establishing a Youth Action Group to inform the unit’s work.

  • Piloting programmes in prisons and Young Offender institutions.

Only a long-term public health approach, which tackles the deep-rooted and ingrained social and economic problems facing society – and includes strong police enforcement – can truly address the problem of violent crime. 

By investing in our young people and investing in our communities we can expand opportunity for all.

6 ways City Hall is tackling the causes of serious youth violence

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