Violence Reduction Units (VRUs)
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) was awarded £1.16 million funding from the Home Office in 2019 to introduce Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) across the Avon and Somerset area.
The OPCC devolved the funding to the five local authority areas within Avon and Somerset to ensure that opportunities for prevention of serious violence and early intervention were considered and delivered at a local level.
The five authority areas are:
- South Gloucestershire
- Bath and North East Somerset
- North Somerset
Each area has developed its own unit approach but works to a multi-agency model, utilising specialist roles and interventions.
The Avon and Somerset as a whole has an overarching strategic board, known as a Violence Reduction Strategic Governance Group, made up of various key partners who oversee the creation and completion of projects and themes of work crucial to tackling serious violence in the area.
Avon and Somerset Police are working to develop specialist roles and data analytics to identify those most vulnerable to serious violence.
This multi-agency approach is based on the findings of the Developing a Serious Violence Strategy for Avon and Somerset Report (PDF).
Each local VRU produces its own individual Strategic Needs Assessment or Problem and Response Strategy. These along with other partner data formed our Avon and Somerset Serious Violence Strategic Needs Assessment, which helps inform the direction of our work.