Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

Greater Than
Violence Strategy

About the Greater than violence strategy

The Greater than Violence strategy commits to working together with individuals and communities to understand their strengths, challenges, and ideas to tackle violence.

Led by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, the Greater than Violence Strategy will work to improve lives by preventing violence, supporting victims, families and communities affected, and providing positive opportunities to those at risk of becoming victims, witnesses, or perpetrators, including education programmes, community sports, targeted mentoring, opportunities to develop new skills and therapeutic support.

The strategy is founded on two pillars: preventing violence from happening and responding swiftly and appropriately when it occurs.

GREATER THAN VIOLENCE STRATEGY PRINCIPLES

There are 5 key principles that underpin the strategy, informed by input from our communities, young people and partners:

Principle 1

Commitments

  • Align the violence reduction programme with those aimed at tackling gender-based violence, youth justice transformation, serious and organised crime, drugs and alcohol, and mental health.
  • Recognising that many young people and women in particular report sometimes feeling unsafe on public transport and on their journeys to and from stations and stops, the VRU will work with the Greater Manchester TravelSafe partnership to prevent and tackle violence across the public transport network.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU reaffirms its commitment to GMP’s team of SEOs and will continue to invest resources into helping them to develop trusted relationships with children, young people, parents, and their communities.
  • GMP will work with the Greater Manchester VRU and other key partners to ensure its officers use problem-oriented policing approaches to prevent and tackle violence and ensure victims and those at risk of involvement in violence are referred to the Navigators programme or similar projects.
  • In line with the Serious Violence Duty, the Greater Manchester VRU will work with key partners to build upon existing information sharing arrangements so that partners can more effectively prevent and respond to violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with academic partners to evaluate interventions to produce a strong evidence base of what works in preventing and tackling violence.
  • Communications campaigns that include the voice of the community and aim to raise young people’s aspirations will be developed and deployed consistently and creatively across the city-region.

Commitments

  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with Community Safety Partnerships to identify the people most at risk of involvement in violence and will provide them with targeted services such as mentoring, coaching, counselling, or other forms of interventions.
  • For young people engaged with the Greater Manchester VRU’s community-led programmes who are at risk of involvement in violence, clear pathways into employment, skills and education will be created.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will make investing in safe spaces for young people a top priority for the next 10 years, as requested by the young people consulted in the development of this strategy.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will further strengthen its partnership with the voluntary sector, ensuring the voices of communities – including those with lived experience – inform and influence the approach to tackling violence in the city-region.
  • GMP will continue to strengthen its work with communities to inform the work of neighbourhood policing teams in preventing and responding to all forms of violence by being a visible and trusted presence, particularly in areas of highest need.
Principle 1
  • Align the violence reduction programme with those aimed at tackling gender-based violence, youth justice transformation, serious and organised crime, drugs and alcohol, and mental health.
  • Recognising that many young people and women in particular report sometimes feeling unsafe on public transport and on their journeys to and from stations and stops, the VRU will work with the Greater Manchester TravelSafe partnership to prevent and tackle violence across the public transport network.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU reaffirms its commitment to GMP’s team of SEOs and will continue to invest resources into helping them to develop trusted relationships with children, young people, parents, and their communities.
  • GMP will work with the Greater Manchester VRU and other key partners to ensure its officers use problem-oriented policing approaches to prevent and tackle violence and ensure victims and those at risk of involvement in violence are referred to the Navigators programme or similar projects.
  • In line with the Serious Violence Duty, the Greater Manchester VRU will work with key partners to build upon existing information sharing arrangements so that partners can more effectively prevent and respond to violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with academic partners to evaluate interventions to produce a strong evidence base of what works in preventing and tackling violence.
  • Communications campaigns that include the voice of the community and aim to raise young people’s aspirations will be developed and deployed consistently and creatively across the city-region. 

Commitments

  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with Community Safety Partners and Integrated Care Partners to invest in early years, housing, education, employment and health to prevent violence across the whole life-course.
  • GMP’s dedicated locality prevention hubs will focus on problem solving, high demand crimes, vulnerable individuals and community threats to prevent and reduce violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with partners such as GM Moving and the voluntary sector to grow the number of high-quality sport provisions in Greater Manchester to engage thousands of young people in positive activities, including those most at risk of violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with education settings to find creative ways to engage children and young people – including those with special educational needs – in positive activities to improve attendance and exclusion rates and keep young people safe on their journeys to and from school and college.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with youth justice
    services to go even further in identifying young people at risk of involvement in violence at the earliest possible stage and diverting them away from harm using appropriate tools and interventions such as out of court disposals.
  • Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) will develop fire service programmes that incorporate activities and messages to prevent and address violence, such as Fire Cadets and child and adult fire setter interventions.
Principle 1
  • Align the violence reduction programme with those aimed at tackling gender-based violence, youth justice transformation, serious and organised crime, drugs and alcohol, and mental health.
  • Recognising that many young people and women in particular report sometimes feeling unsafe on public transport and on their journeys to and from stations and stops, the VRU will work with the Greater Manchester TravelSafe partnership to prevent and tackle violence across the public transport network.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU reaffirms its commitment to GMP’s team of SEOs and will continue to invest resources into helping them to develop trusted relationships with children, young people, parents, and their communities.
  • GMP will work with the Greater Manchester VRU and other key partners to ensure its officers use problem-oriented policing approaches to prevent and tackle violence and ensure victims and those at risk of involvement in violence are referred to the Navigators programme or similar projects.
  • In line with the Serious Violence Duty, the Greater Manchester VRU will work with key partners to build upon existing information sharing arrangements so that partners can more effectively prevent and respond to violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with academic partners to evaluate interventions to produce a strong evidence base of what works in preventing and tackling violence.
  • Communications campaigns that include the voice of the community and aim to raise young people’s aspirations will be developed and deployed consistently and creatively across the city-region. 

Commitments

  • Align the violence reduction programme with those aimed at tackling gender-based violence, youth justice transformation, serious and organised crime, drugs and alcohol, and mental health.
  • Recognising that many young people and women in particular report sometimes feeling unsafe on public transport and on their journeys to and from stations and stops, the VRU will work with the Greater Manchester TravelSafe partnership to prevent and tackle violence across the public transport network.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU reaffirms its commitment to GMP’s team of SEOs and will continue to invest resources into helping them to develop trusted relationships with children, young people, parents, and their communities.
  • GMP will work with the Greater Manchester VRU and other key partners to ensure its officers use problem-oriented policing approaches to prevent and tackle violence and ensure victims and those at risk of involvement in violence are referred to the Navigators programme or similar projects.
  • In line with the Serious Violence Duty, the Greater Manchester VRU will work with key partners to build upon existing information sharing arrangements so that partners can more effectively prevent and respond to violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with academic partners to evaluate interventions to produce a strong evidence base of what works in preventing and tackling violence.
Principle 1
  • Align the violence reduction programme with those aimed at tackling gender-based violence, youth justice transformation, serious and organised crime, drugs and alcohol, and mental health.
  • Recognising that many young people and women in particular report sometimes feeling unsafe on public transport and on their journeys to and from stations and stops, the VRU will work with the Greater Manchester TravelSafe partnership to prevent and tackle violence across the public transport network.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU reaffirms its commitment to GMP’s team of SEOs and will continue to invest resources into helping them to develop trusted relationships with children, young people, parents, and their communities.
  • GMP will work with the Greater Manchester VRU and other key partners to ensure its officers use problem-oriented policing approaches to prevent and tackle violence and ensure victims and those at risk of involvement in violence are referred to the Navigators programme or similar projects.
  • In line with the Serious Violence Duty, the Greater Manchester VRU will work with key partners to build upon existing information sharing arrangements so that partners can more effectively prevent and respond to violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with academic partners to evaluate interventions to produce a strong evidence base of what works in preventing and tackling violence.
  • Communications campaigns that include the voice of the community and aim to raise young people’s aspirations will be developed and deployed consistently and creatively across the city-region. 

Commitments

  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with partners across the city-region to implement policies to dismantle structural and systemic inequalities across Greater Manchester’s criminal justice system.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will prioritise tackling all forms of gender-based violence through a range of measures, including investing in dedicated projects and interventions aimed at supporting women and girls at risk of violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will invest in and support dedicated organisations to confidently and effectively meet the needs of members of the LGBTQ+ community who are identified as being at risk of violence.
  • Raise aspirations of young people by working across public, private, business and voluntary sectors to create accessible opportunities for volunteering, internships, apprenticeships, and work, such as those provided by the Manchester Baccalaureate.
  • Work with partners and communities, including faith groups, to raise awareness of hate crime and provide information on how to report it and seek support, and to provide a platform for communities to come together to challenge prejudice and celebrate diversity.
  • Ensure the needs of neurodiverse young people and those with special educational needs are considered and appropriately acted upon in the VRU’s policies and programmes.
Principle 1
  • Align the violence reduction programme with those aimed at tackling gender-based violence, youth justice transformation, serious and organised crime, drugs and alcohol, and mental health.
  • Recognising that many young people and women in particular report sometimes feeling unsafe on public transport and on their journeys to and from stations and stops, the VRU will work with the Greater Manchester TravelSafe partnership to prevent and tackle violence across the public transport network.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU reaffirms its commitment to GMP’s team of SEOs and will continue to invest resources into helping them to develop trusted relationships with children, young people, parents, and their communities.
  • GMP will work with the Greater Manchester VRU and other key partners to ensure its officers use problem-oriented policing approaches to prevent and tackle violence and ensure victims and those at risk of involvement in violence are referred to the Navigators programme or similar projects.
  • In line with the Serious Violence Duty, the Greater Manchester VRU will work with key partners to build upon existing information sharing arrangements so that partners can more effectively prevent and respond to violence.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with academic partners to evaluate interventions to produce a strong evidence base of what works in preventing and tackling violence.
  • Communications campaigns that include the voice of the community and aim to raise young people’s aspirations will be developed and deployed consistently and creatively across the city-region. 

Commitments

  • By 2028, ensure that all Greater Manchester public sector bodies are trauma-informed and responsive, by making training widely available.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will support the embedding of trauma-responsive approaches across voluntary services and community organisations in Greater Manchester, particularly those that work with children and young people.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will work with academic partners to build an evidence base to demonstrate the most effective and impactful trauma-responsive interventions.
  • The Greater Manchester VRU will offer education settings a series of well-sequenced and age appropriate trauma- informed curriculum sessions that create a supportive and inclusive approach to everyone’s well-being and extending this as appropriate into early years settings.
  • Ensure pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, who are likely to be more vulnerable because of ACE and trauma, can access appropriate wrap around intervention and care.

Engagement with young people and communities

The VRU has partnered with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS) to ensure the voices of young people from across Greater Manchester are captured in the strategy. MCYS is an award-winning interdisciplinary research centre specialising in participatory, youth-informed research that positively influences the lives of young people. To date, through MCYS, 70 young people have shared their experiences and thoughts on the causes of violence, where violence happens, what makes them feel safe/unsafe and what would help to address violence through a series of detailed conversations and facilitated workshops. This insight has helped to shape the principles and commitments included in the strategy – engagement will continue as implementation plans are developed.

Young people from the Youth Combined Authority (YCA) have also helped to shape the direction and development of the strategy. The YCA is a group of young people who have the role of advising on and scrutinising the work of the Mayor and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on key issues and concerns of young people in the community, and represent all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester. Their input has ensured that the strategy includes commitments that will address the concerns of young people in terms of violence and positive opportunities for the future.

Through the VRU’s community-led programmes, young people and community members from across Greater Manchester have shared their experiences of violence and ideas for change with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, including the importance of long-term funding for community-led initiatives. This was also reflected in ‘The Big Conversation’, an event co-chaired by the VRU and 10GM to seek the views of 90+ people from voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations from the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester. The event provided an opportunity to receive feedback on the strategy’s emerging principles and ensure that the views of the VCSE sector, a crucial partner in preventing violence, are reflected in the strategy.

Strategy launch december 2023

Engagement with young people
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