The Violence and Vulnerability Unit is a small national team of community safety experts who work in partnership with the Association of Town and City Management, We have been commissioned by the Home Office and MOPAC (Mayor’s Office Policing and Crime) to deliver targeted support across the UK to local areas adversely affected by serious youth violence, county lines and the associated violence and exploitation of vulnerable people.
Increasingly, crime is being committed in private spaces, rather than the public sphere, and this type of crime often involves the criminal exploitation of children and adults on a physical, sexual or financial basis. For many areas in the UK this is becoming a major concern as gang activity based around “county lines” is impacting heavily in a number of areas and leading to increasing reports of serious violence.
The VVU can help partnerships tackle the following challenges:
The LR is a part of the national strategy to tackle serious youth violence. It is a rapid, evidence based assessment gathering information, knowledge and perception from front-line practitioners to build a qualitative picture of the key issues and drivers around county lines, gangs, youth violence and vulnerability.
Reviews often highlight communication issues as well as potential gaps and barriers to identification and effective intervention.
In order to tackle serious youth violence there needs to be a common county-wide or regional approach that is both planned and managed through a strategic framework.
This framework outlines what’s achievable across the county or region. This requires the active involvement of the PCC and police, but also community safety, public health, health and well-being boards, schools, children’s services and adult social services. The framework establishes county wide or regional common principles and activity.
Responding to the request from many local practitioners at all levels and across a diverse range of agencies, foir training and support to provide a basic working knowledge of the county lines/gang phenomenon, the VVU has developed an online training facility.
The training is a knowledge based course which takes participants through organised youth violence explaining how the system works, the terminology and how to recognise the signs.
Participants are invited to apply their knowledge to a number of scenarios to test their learning.
This demonstrates the participants developing understanding and the results are recorded and fed back to training managers.