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The Serious Violence Action Plan

In July 2020, the VRU launched its Serious Violence Action Plan, which sets out seven priorities for the unit and the framework through which serious violence will be addressed.

Its priorities and commitments were developed following extensive community engagement across all 10 districts of Greater Manchester in 2019. Researchers spoke to people in the street, on public transport, in pubs, at community centres, and in sports clubs, to gauge what concerns they had about violence in their community, their experiences of violent crime and what they wanted a newly formed VRU to do in response. The researchers also worked in schools, colleges, pupil referral units, youth justice teams and youth clubs to capture the voices of children and young people, as well as professionals working with them. In total, the team engaged with over 600 residents and over 300 schools and colleges.

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Support an improved criminal justice response to all forms of serious violence.

Support community and voluntary organisations to deliver activities and interventions in areas of highest need.

Ensure that families and communities that are affected by serious violence are effectively supported through our place-based early help offer.

Ensure victims of violent crime receive appropriate and timely support.

Create a dedicated Violence Reduction Unit for Greater Manchester.

Work with Community Safety Partnerships and Local Safeguarding Boards to implement a place-based approach to tackling these issues.

Collaborate with schools, colleges and alternative provision to prevent violence.

Click here to view the serious violence action plan

Community-led approach

The VRU’s community-led approach to violence reduction, means the VRU works closely with local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. In March 2021, two alliances made up of VCSE organisations in Bolton and Manchester were awarded funds as part of Greater Manchester’s £500,000 investment in community-led pilots, which are being rolled out in six boroughs as part of the Serious Violence Action Plan.

A community-led violence reduction pilot is one of the VRU’s flagship projects and is in line with the ambitions of the Greater Manchester Strategy and Public Service Reform programme to involve communities at a place level to identify priorities, problem solve and direct investment and interventions accordingly. Analysis undertaken by the Big Data Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) enabled the VRU to identify six sites across Greater Manchester where the pilot is to be implemented.

In February 2021 there were community-led pilots live in Bolton, Manchester, Salford, and Oldham. During the pilots, the VRU is working with residents to decide how local investment should be spent to address issues of violence. Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, including grassroots groups, are forming local alliances to ensure holistic provision targeted at individuals, families, schools and communities of highest need.

The work of the community alliances is having a huge impact in local communities across Greater Manchester. Hear from some of the people benefiting from the work.

If you are affected by anything you have heard in this video, Samaritans (116 123) http://samaritans.org operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year.

Latest news

Keep up to date with the latest news and initiatives from the VRU!

Navigator Project


Navigator project helps young people to recover from their experience of violence and prevent the potential of further violence

The Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) adopts a public health approach to violence reduction; this means focusing on understanding the root causes of the problem and on testing, evaluating and upscaling interventions. The Navigator Project, a new intervention for Greater Manchester, launched recently. Based in four Greater Manchester hospitals, the Navigator Project is a […]

Hideaway - Free 2 B U


Hideaway youth project

Our recent post, Greater Manchester’s community-led approach to violence reduction, highlighted the importance of community alliances. The alliances, amongst other things, strengthen relationships and trust between the community and partners from the voluntary and statutory sectors. Over the next few months, we will spotlight a handful of alliance members, providing an opportunity for them to […]

Community-led Pilot


Greater Manchester’s community-led approach to violence reduction

In 2019, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) undertook a comprehensive programme of engagement with communities, including young people, the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and people working in communities affected by violence. GMCA and the VRU heard from communities about their concerns and aspirations and agreed […]

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