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The Avon and Somerset VRU Governance Group

The Avon and Somerset ‘Violence Reduction Strategic Governance Group’, is the overarching strategic board which oversees the five Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) governance of delivery and performance.

The five VRU local authority areas are:

  • Bath and North East Somerset (BANES)
  • Bristol
  • North Somerset
  • Somerset
  • South Gloucestershire

The Governance Group is 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.

The below diagram demonstrates how the Strategic Governance Group overarches the five VRUs.

The diagram shows the Strategic Governance Group overarching the five Violence Reduction Units. 
These unit areas are: 
Bath and North East Somerset
North Somerset
South Gloucestershire

Strategic Board Partners

Each strategic board partner has committed to the Terms of Reference, outlined their commitment and has a specific role on the board. The strategic board partners include:

  • Avon and Somerset Police
  • Barnardo’s (voluntary sector representative)
  • Each of the five Violence Reduction Units (VRUs)
  • Education
  • Fire Service
  • Integrated Care Boards (ICB’s)
  • National Probation Service (NPS)
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID)
  • Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)
  • Youth Offending Service (YOS)

Strategic Board Aims

The strategic board primarily offers high-level direction and oversees the delivery and performance of the five VRU ‘spokes’. It has been chaired jointly by the OPCC’s ‘Head of Commissioning and Partnerships’ and the Avon and Somerset Constabulary ‘Assisting Chief Constable Serious Violence lead’. Through quarterly meetings the board aims to:

  • Give strategic direction for the development of the Avon and Somerset VRUs, avoiding duplication with other work streams.
  • Offer synchronisation across partners’ violence reduction activity where required.
  • Ensure that the VRUs follow a public health approach and adhere to the Serious Violence Statutory Duty.
  • Oversee performance and delivery of VRUs, including spend of the Home Office VRU grant and any additional associated funding.
  • Ensure that delivery is informed by regular review and evidence led approaches.
  • Ensure compliance with Home Office reporting requirements.
  • Seek to understand and resolve issues that require force-wide resolution or are strategic systems change/infrastructure issues e.g. data/intelligence sharing arrangements/agreements.
  • Ensure that the diverse voices of Young People and communities are considered in any strategic decision making.
  • Monitor risks to the project via the risk register.
  • Link with work being done locally to meet the requirements within the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and other relevant legislation and government led strategies.

Strategic Board Priorities for 2022/23

The strategic board refined their priorities for 2022/23 and developed a set of six key themes:

  1. Leadership and system change
  2. Data, evidence and evaluation
  3. Risk identification and understanding need
  4. Intervention and prevention
  5. Community and youth engagement
  6. Criminal justice and disruption

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