Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

Impact 2023-24

VRU Annual Report 2024 Key Stats

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The evidence in relation to preventing and tackling violence is clear: violence is preventable not inevitable.

Community-led programmes
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.

A community-led violence reduction programme is one of the VRU’s flagship projects and ensures communities are involved at a place level to identify priorities, problem solve and direct investment and interventions accordingly.

Read about some of the organisations involved in the community-led programmes:

Community Spotlight Series: Fatima Women’s Association (FWA)
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Community Spotlight Series: Bury Defence Academy

Find out more about our community-led approach here.

For the past 12 months the VRU has continued to work to strengthen and bolster the personal development curriculum for every primary, secondary and sixth form student in Greater Manchester, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), to ensure students know how to keep themselves and others safe, free from harm and strong in their well-being.

The VRU has engaged the services of Alison Cope, who delivers a hard-hitting and memorable workshop about the dangers of knife crime. She speaks from personal experience, having lost her son as a result of knife crime. In the past 12 months, Alison has delivered 33 sessions in 13 high schools across Greater Manchester, reaching over 1,500 children.

A school Principal said: “The staff and the children were deeply moved by Alison’s presentation – I have received nothing but positive feedback. One of my pupils have been through some recent trauma and for the first time, he is now speaking about it. He came into my office today to tell me about how he was feeling and to ask for advice – that is all due to the powerful message that Alison delivered.”

Stop the Bleed

On the 26 April 2023 Greater Manchester piloted the country’s first Stop the Bleed day – a collaboration between Greater Manchester VRU and first aid charity citizenAID.

In total, 14 schools from across Greater Manchester took part with training delivered to students in Years 6 and 7. Students learnt how to identify a life-threatening bleed, how to apply pressure, pack a wound, and use a tourniquet.

A total of 1,687 young people were trained to stop a bleed.

Read more about Stop the Bleed day here.

Parent and Carer Support Service
Launched in October 2023, the Parent and Carer Support (PACS) service provides support for parents and carers who have concerns about their child. They may have noticed a change in their child’s behaviour, and/or, suspect that their child is involved in violence, criminality or potentially being exploited. The project was created in response to feedback obtained by parents and carers from the Navigator Programme and other parenting groups, where issues around education, neurodiversity, risky behaviour, feelings of isolation, and a breakdown in relationships were identified as potential areas of concern. Both the Navigator Programme and the PACS service are delivered by the charity OasisUK.

Since launch:


BLOCKS is a child-centred, strengths-based, trauma-informed programme providing one-to- one support for young people as they transition from primary to secondary school to mitigate potential risks of involvement in or connection with violence.

173 young people have been supported via BLOCKS since launch.

Co-designed with young people, parents, and primary school teachers and staff, the progamme includes 10 primary schools from across Greater Manchester and is delivered by Salford Foundation.


StreetDoctors trains young people across the UK in the physical and psychological consequences of street violence and develops their knowledge, confidence and willingness to support themselves and others. After working with the VRU on several partnership projects, StreetDoctors were commissioned to pilot the Stepwise programme at HMP Hindley. The programme has a focus on youth engagement, training, and social action and was developed with HMP Hindley, Merseyside and Cheshire Prison Group, and the proposed group of young participants.

As a result of the course:

Read more about the StreetDoctors programme here.

Unity Radio
The partnership between the VRU and Unity Radio’s New Talent Academy, aims to raise awareness of serious violence and knife crime and build aspirations through a series of conversations led by young people.

Young people travel from across Greater Manchester to attend radio-training workshops and deliver a live radio show on Unity Radio. This includes music, features and information on areas and issues that affect young people. By creating peer-to-peer education and social scaffolding, they are helping to increase resilience among young people while safeguarding the vulnerable and at risk.

All participants:

Deputy Mayor Kate Green with the Operation Venture team


When a violent crime is committed, it is imperative that there is a swift and robust response from policing, health, and the Criminal Justice System and that those experiencing violence are protected.

Operation Venture
Operation Venture recently celebrated twelve months of success. Operation Venture works closely with the VRU to refer young people into positive engagement programmes and prevent violent crime from occurring. The team organise weapon sweeps; carry out proactive patrols across hotspot areas; conduct arrests in relation to violent incidents or other relevant offences; regularly stop and search individuals; engage with the community and assist divisional response teams with grade one calls.
Since launch, the team have achieved the following:

GMP Stats Annual Report 2024

Navigator Project
Launched in May 2021, the Greater Manchester Navigator Project works with young people aged 10-25, to help them to cope and recover from their experience of violence and assist with access to local support networks to prevent the potential of further violence.

Since the launch of the programme, over 1,000 referrals have been received, with 77.5% of young people accepting the offer of support.

To make a community or self-referral, visit Navigator – Oasis Hub Oldham

ACEs and Trauma
Adversity and trauma can impact on all aspects of a person’s life, often affecting a person’s ability to engage fully in society. We also know there are links between adversity and trauma and violence. However, this negative response is not inevitable and adversity and trauma are also preventable. In 2019 the Greater Manchester Reform Board set an ambitious plan to become an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Trauma Responsive system.

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