Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

Public services, VCSE organisations, communities, and young people across Greater Manchester have come together to launch a new 10-year strategy to prevent and reduce serious violence in the city-region.

Led by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Kate Green, 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 was launched at an event in Trafford today (Tuesday 12 December) by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Colin McFarlane, and the Leader of Trafford Council Cllr Tom Ross, and attended by representatives from the services, organisations and communities involved in the development of the strategy.

Extensive consultation with communities and young people across Greater Manchester took place over the summer to inform the development of the strategy, including work with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Centre for Youth Studies and Greater Manchester’s Youth Combined Authority. The strategy commits to taking a community-led approach to deliver our vision for Greater Manchester.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Violence and the fear of violence is an inhibitor to realising Greater Manchester’s ambition to be a place where everyone can live a good life, growing up, getting on and growing old in a greener, fairer more prosperous city-region.

“In Greater Manchester we have already seen reductions in knife crime – between the year ending June 2022 and the year ending June 2023, knife crime decreased by 12.5% across all ages, and 13.5% for victims under age 25. However, there is obviously more work to do.

“The Greater than Violence Strategy is the next phase of our journey to tackle violence and improve lives. Partners from across Greater Manchester – led by the Violence Reduction Unit – will work together with communities to reduce violence and provide positive opportunities for young people and families across the city-region.”

Founded on two pillars – preventing violence from happening and responding swiftly and appropriately when it occurs – the strategy recognises that to truly tackle violence effectively, it needs to be prevented from happening in the first place, and in instances where violence does occur, there needs to be a swift and effective policing, health, and criminal justice response to apprehend those responsible and protect victims and communities.

Spanning these two pillars are five core principles aligned to wider strategic priorities for Greater Manchester:

Under each principle sits a series of commitments that will be delivered over the next 10 years.

Kate Green, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for police, crime, criminal justice, and fire, said: “It is clear from extensive consultation and engagement with communities across Greater Manchester that tackling crime, particularly where it involves any form of violence, is a high priority.

“We are firmly committed to a community-led approach to violence reduction and including the voices of people with lived experience in decision making so working closely with communities, including young people, in the development of the Greater than Violence Strategy has been key.

“We must ensure that no community is disproportionally impacted by violence or our response to it, so it is vital that the strategy is aligned to the work of the race equality plan and GMP’s race action plan, as well as other strategies such as Greater Manchester’s Gender-Based Violence Strategy, and to our efforts to reduce hate crime.

“Partnerships will be crucial to ensure opportunities to realise the commitments in the strategy are harnessed and we are able to offer communities, and young people in particular, hope and inspiration for a future where they can achieve their ambitions and live safely in our city-region.”

Assistant Chief Constable Colin McFarlane of Greater Manchester Police, said: “This strategy underpins the collective commitment between GMP, the VRU and partners to tackle serious violence, and safeguard vulnerable people, on a long-term basis. We are clear that we want to reduce violence across Greater Manchester, so that the region feels safer for everyone.

“Our communities are telling us they are concerned about issues like knife crime, violence and robberies, and I’d like to provide reassurance that we already have dedicated teams and operations to tackle these issues in place, also now with reinforced neighbourhood policing teams and multi-agency prevention hubs in every district.

“Prevention is something GMP and partners are doing well, which independent inspections have recently reiterated, looking at the root causes or underlying issues which may lead people into a life of violence. We are trying to stop it at this stage, providing early intervention or divergence into more positive outlets wherever is possible.

“The collective work will continue, with this 10-year strategy acting as a guiding tool that also looks to continuously hold our progress to account.”

Cllr Tom Ross, Leader of Trafford Council, said: “I am delighted that the launch of the new Greater than Violence Strategy was held at Gorse Hill Studios in Trafford today and we were able to welcome leaders, partners, community members and young people from across Greater Manchester.

“This strategy is vitally important in tackling violence in our communities through prevention and early intervention and informing young people of the dangers of becoming involved in violent crime. We will be working closely with partners including the Violence Reduction Unit and Greater Manchester Police to ensure the strategy is a success. There is no place for violence in our ten Greater Manchester boroughs.”

Maisha Lorgat, Chair of the Youth Combined Authority, said: “The Youth Combined Authority were delighted to engage with the Violence Reduction Unit on the development of the new Greater than Violence Strategy this year.

“The Youth Combined Authority shared ideas about the key issues and solutions to violence, which directly influenced this new strategy.

“It is important that youth voice is central to these conversations, to ensure that there is a community-led approach to tackling violence, and to show young people that there is hope and inspiration for a safer future in Greater Manchester.”

The Greater than Violence Strategy will continue to evolve over the next 10 years to be responsive to changing needs and challenges across Greater Manchester.

To read the strategy in full, visit: Greater Than Violence Strategy – Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (

Article posted on: 12/12/2023 05:12pm

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