VRU Work Programme: Phase 1

Reference code: 
PCD 634
Date signed: 
06 September 2019
Authorisation name: 
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Policing and Crime

Executive summary

Keeping Londoners safe is a top Mayoral priority. In addition to funding police officers as part of the Violence Crime Taskforce, the Mayor established the Violence Reduction Unit to adopt a public health approach towards tackling violence. The London Violence Reduction Unit had an original budget of £6.8m for 2019/20 to which the Mayor has added a further £1 million and will receive co-commissioning element of London Crime Prevention Fund Tranche 2 which is concentrated on tackling violence in collaboration with Local Authorities (£3.2m in 2020/21). The Home Office has confirmed the award of £7m for 2019/20. This brings the total VRU budget to £14.8m in 2019/20, and £5.0m in 2020/21. 

The VRU has published a strategy and work programme with eight key objectives. In line with these objectives, a programme of spend has been developed. Annexe 1 lists the contracts and grants for which this decision is seeking DMPC approval. This Decision is Phase 1 of the spend plan based on mobilisation of existing arrangements and there will be subsequent decisions put forward in year to request approval against remaining programmes.

Recommendation

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is recommended to: 

  • Accept the £7m of grant funding from the Home Office for the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) for 2019/20. 

  • Note the existing MOPAC funding allocation to be transferred to the VRU. This amounts to £1m in 2019/20 and £3.2m in 2020/21.

  • In line with the VRU Strategy and work programme, approve the award of £7.2m in 2019/20, £7.6m in 2020/21 and £0.1m in 2021/22 of direct grants and contracts as well as enhancing contracts and grants, as per Annex 1. 

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

1.    Introduction and background

1.1.    The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) was created in September 2018 by the Mayor of London. The strategic aims of the VRU are:
•    To stabilise and reduce violence 
•    To increase feelings of safety 
•    To place community at the heart of our work – only by doing so do we have a sustainable long-term approach towards reducing violence.

1.2.    Adopting the contextual framework and aligning that with the journey of a child our work programme encompasses the following core objectives:

•    Supporting individuals to be more resilient  
•    Supporting stronger families 
•    Young people leading change
•    Enabling communities to be strong, safe and resilient
•    Prioritising wellbeing and achievement in schools
•    Giving young people every chance to succeed
•    Making London a more compassionate and safer city
•    Increasing confidence in public institutions and changing the message around violence

1.3.    The VRU will take a public health approach to tackling violence, which means looking at violence not as isolated incidents or solely a police enforcement problem. Instead, this approach looks at violence as a preventable consequence of a range of factors, such as adverse early-life experiences, or harmful social or community experiences and influences.

1.4.    This ‘Phase 1 decision’ outlines and requests DMPC approval to start activity. There will be further decisions in the year as the spend plan continues to be finalised. 

2.    Issues for consideration

2.1.    In February 2019, the Mayor announced that the VRU would receive £6.8m of funding in 2019/20. The funding will primarily be allocated towards delivery of projects and programmes in the community, ensuring that investment is targeted where it will have greatest impact. 

2.2.    The VRU has been allocated £3.2m, the co-commissioning part of the London Crime Prevention Fund. 

2.3.    The Home Office sent confirmation of award of funding on £7m. The Home Office funding is to be spent on activity delivered in 2019/20 only and will be subject to quarterly grant returns.

3.    Financial Comments

3.1.    The financial implications of this decision are provided for within the 2019/20 budget and there will be further decisions allocating the remaining commissioning budget in 2019/20 against programmes, in line with the VRU Strategy. 

3.2.    A number of the programmes require extension into 2020/21 and 2021/22 to ensure the programme delivers impact and can be evaluated effectively. The financial implications of this will be dealt with through the 2020/21 budget process. 

4.    Legal Comments

4.1.    MOPAC has powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (formerly under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011) to award grants to secure the reduction of crime and disorder in London. 

4.2.    Paragraph 4.8 of the MOPAC’s Scheme of Consent and Delegation provides the DMPC with delegated power to approve bids for grant funding made and all offers made of grant funding; and/or where appropriate a strategy for grant giving. 

5.    Commercial Issues 

5.1.    The approach for Phase 1 of the VRU total spend focuses primarily on awarding direct grants and enhancing contractual arrangements which support the public health approach to violence reduction. This enables delivery of activity is line with Home Office spend conditions, where spend and delivery of activity must take place by March 2020. The VRU is developing a commissioning framework which will underpin the commissioning of future provision. 

5.2.    This approach will also allow the VRU to begin effecting change at a rapid pace and further build the evidence base to enable continuous improvement of the VRU approach. 

6.    Public Health Approach 

6.1.    The spend plan takes a public health approach to tackling violence, which means looking at violence not as isolated incidents or solely a police enforcement problem. Instead, this approach looks at violence as a preventable consequence of a range of factors, such as adverse early-life experiences, or harmful social or community experiences and influences.

7.    GDPR and Data Privacy 

7.1.    A full Data Protection Impact Assessment will be completed by all providers if required as part of the mobilisation for the services, to ensure that all delivery is fully compliant with the requirements of the GDPR.

7.2.    All contracts and grant agreements will include clear provisions relating to compliance in this area, and in relation to the processing of personal data. These terms have been drafted following consultation with MOPAC’s GDPR Project Manager.

8.    Equality Comments

8.1.    Under s149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Equality Act), as a public authority the Deputy Mayor/MOPAC must have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and any conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act; and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (the duty in respect of this last characteristic is to eliminate unlawful discrimination only).

8.2.    The Violence Reduction Unit has commissioned an Equality Impact Assessment which will be published in due course. 

9.    Background/supporting papers

9.1.    Annex 1. 


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