The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Violence Reduction Alliance (VRA) celebrated their work to prevent violence across the region, including being assessed as ‘ready’ to deliver the government’s Serious Violence Duty, at the VRA Conference this month.
Over the next three years, the VRA will receive almost £970,000 via the Duty to help build on this partnership work and develop new initiatives where gaps have been identified. The Serious Violence Duty requires specified authorities to work together to plan, share data, knowledge and intelligence to produce an evidence-based strategy to prevent and reduce serious violence in the area.
Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Commissioner, and Chair of the VRA, Ben Adams said:
“The VRA has been taking a multi-agency approach to preventing violence since it was established, which is why we are in a strong position to deliver the Serious Violence Duty.
“Although crime rates within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are well below the national and regional averages, funding received through the Duty will help partners to progress their work to better support communities to live safe, happy and fulfilling lives.”
The VRA was established in 2021 to deliver the local Serious Violence Strategy and has delivered a number of initiatives to help prevent violence, including violence against women and girls.
In addition to the VRA’s readiness assessment, conference attendees also celebrated partners’ achievements so far, including:
- Commissioning of a local Navigator Programme delivered by a child and exploitation service to identify and support children at the most reachable moment following arrest or as victim of a violent offence
- Development of Personal, Social, Health and Education resources for primary schools
- Average 12% reduction in the number of crimes and incidents reported in Stoke-on-Trent parks following initiatives led by the VRA
- Success of the Safe Spaces who provide support for women and girls, or anybody who may find themselves vulnerable during the night-time economy
- Using Virtual Reality to educate children and young people on the potential risks and consequences of carrying a knife
- 37 organisations and businesses across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have signed the Safer Places for Women and Girls Charter to show they are committed to taking a proactive approach in improving women and girl’s safety
As well as sharing work currently underway, the conference also provided an opportunity to reflect on why a multi-agency approach is important. Attendees heard from various speakers including a personal journey from a male with adverse childhood experiences; Dr Kate Gooch, Bath University, who presented research findings on Young Men, Violence and Tragedy; and The Voice of Children and Young People, presented by Phil Pusey, Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services (SCVYS).
Chief Constable Chris Noble, said:
“Tackling violence can only be achieved through a joint approach with partners and I’m pleased to see the progress being made across Staffordshire to address these community concerns.
“We know how important it is that the public feel confident enough to report these issues to police and we are continuing to engage positively with local people to make sure we can implement the necessary measures to deliver on their priorities.
“It’s important that we continue to embed within our communities, understand the issues which matter the most to them, and work alongside our partners to action them as robustly as possible.”