Nottinghamshire VRU team has helped hundreds of young people turn away from crime

More than 900 young people across Nottinghamshire have received intensive support by a specialist prevention team to turn their backs on serious violence and knife crime.

Thursday, 12th November 2020, 11:55 am

Nottinghamshire's Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is playing a vital role in the lives of hundreds of young people at risk of knife crime and violence as either perpetrators or victims.

Nottinghamshire's VRU was one of 18 nationally to receive a provisional share of a £35 million Home Office grant last year to establish a specialist team to tackle violent crime and prevent young people carrying knives.

The team has provided one-to-one support to more than 900 young people impacted by violence through custody intervention, targeted outreach and direct engagement.

Nottinghamshire chief constable Craig Guildford and PCC Paddy Tipping with members of the U-Turn team

It has also supported around 30 families, with hundreds more community members engaged through its initiatives.

Hundreds of volunteers and community workers across Nottinghamshire are involved in its work and helping to make a difference to young lives.

This means treating the causes of violence by focusing on the contributory issues such as adverse childhood experiences that may lead someone to become a victim or perpetrator of violence.

Since the VRU's launch, there have been sustained reductions in knife crime across Nottinghamshire with latest figures confirming an 11 per cent drop in the year end to June 2020 .

Dave Wakelin, VRU director, said: "My absolute praise goes to Nottinghamshire Police for their approach to knife crime which has been really successful.”

The VRU supports a wealth of mentorship projects including the flagship custody mentoring scheme U-Turn, delivered by The Inspire & Achieve Foundation, and Base 21's Evolution Project, and works in schools to tackle bullying and problem behaviour.