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Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

Addressing the underlying causes of violence and working
together with communities to prevent it.

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Working to reduce violence in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is a team of subject leads and experts from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Greater Manchester National Probation Service, Public Health, NHS, Education, Community Voluntary Sector, Victim’s Voice, Youth Justice and Local Authorities, addressing the underlying causes of violence and working together with communities to prevent it.

Under the direct governance and oversight of the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Combined Authority plays host to the VRU.

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.

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

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

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

4. Ensure victims of violent crime receive appropriate and timely support.

5. Create a dedicated Violence Reduction Unit for Greater Manchester.

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

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

Community-led approach

The community-led approach to violence reduction, means the VRU works closely with communities to understand the strengths, challenges, and needs of the community and determine how local investments will be made.

Several boroughs across the city-region have received funding from the VRU as part of its investment in community-led programmes, outlined in Greater Manchester’s Serious Violence Action Plan.

Public health approach

“The key objective is to ensure we take a public health approach, working collaboratively and in partnership where we come together and our policies are strongly aligned. We’ll be looking at our trends, information and evidence to find solutions collaboratively with our partners” – Helen Lowey.

Take a look at our latest initatives

Hope Hack

Young people from across Greater Manchester have shared their views, thoughts, and ideas on how to make the city region a safer and fairer place for all.

Navigator Project

The Greater Manchester Navigator Project is a youth-focused, violence reduction project based in four Greater Manchester hospitals.

The Social Switch Project

The Social Switch Project is switching the narrative on how social media’s relationship to youth violence is understood, tackled and solved.

Speaking Out Could Save a Life

Greater Manchester comes together to stop knife crime and serious violence.

Latest News
All Blog Uncategorised
First ‘We are Greater’ week for young people organised by Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit
‘We are Greater’ week sees schools, colleges, youth groups and sports teams from across Greater Manchester encourage young people to be greater than violence by participating in positive activities in their local areas. The week is inspired by the Violence Reduction Unit’s ‘I am Greater’ campaign which encourages young people to be greater than violence […]
13 November 2023
Programme that helps young people transition from primary to secondary school supports over 150 students…
Funded by Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit, the primary transitions programme supports young people with the transition from primary to secondary school to mitigate potential risks of involvement in or connection with violence. The programme (also referred to as Blocks) responds to feedback from primary schools that intergenerational violence and knife carrying are affecting children […]
23 October 2023
Violence Reduction Unit mentoring offer in Bury prevents young people becoming involved in crime
On Friday 20th October, the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester visited the Violence Reduction Unit’s (VRU’s) community-led programme in Bury to hear about the positive impact it is having in preventing young people becoming involved in serious violence and other crimes. The programme in Bury works with young people aged between 10 and 25, and […]
23 October 2023

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