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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 and Manchester, and in development in 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!


Xaverian College host Greater Manchester Colleges’ Safety Roadshow

This week, Xaverian College hosted the Greater Manchester Colleges’ Safety Roadshow, to promote a range of support services available within the local area to students. The Roadshow, which was first introduced in February 2022, aims to address the underlying causes of violence, and work together with communities to prevent it. Throughout the day, students had […]

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VRU holds criminal justice learning event to highlight emerging best practise and innovation

The online event highlighted emerging best practise and innovation from criminal justice projects across Greater Manchester. The event aimed to enable participants to understand links between violence and childhood experiences, understand the value of lived experience mentoring to rehabilitate and reduce levels of violence, and understand how a trauma responsive approach identifies children and young […]


Social Switch Project pilot in Salford results in 96% of practitioners feeling confident talking to young people about social media

Late last year, a pilot of the Social Switch Project – a multi-layered social media education programme that aims to build the digital resilience and literacy of young people, and the trusted adults around them, to reduce the chances of online risks becoming online/offline violence-related harms – was ran in four schools in Salford. Funded […]

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