Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

Today, Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) shared new figures that show significant reductions in hospital admissions due to assault by a sharp object, and homicides involving a knife.

The figures have been released as part of the Great Manchester VRU’s annual report which details the impact of its work in reducing violence and building aspirations amongst young people living in the city-region.

The report highlights that in 2022, there were fewer than 90 hospital admissions due to assault by a sharp object among victims aged under 25, this is down by 17% compared to 2021, and down by 26% compared to the year pre-covid.

There has also been a significant decrease in homicides, down by 27% compared to 2021, and knife enabled homicides, down by 19% compared to 2021.

Established in October 2019, the Greater Manchester 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.

Kate Green, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for policing, crime, criminal justice, and fire said: “It’s positive to see some progress in the figures and to see knife-related assault and homicide falling in Greater Manchester. These reductions are the result of the hard work of the VRU, Greater Manchester Police (GMP), partner organisations, and our communities, who all work tirelessly to keep our young people safe and to educate them in the devastating consequences of serious violence.

“However, we know we are still not where we need to be, as sadly people living in Greater Manchester do continue to be victims of serious violence and knife crime, and tragically sometimes lose their lives.

“Through continued funding from the Home Office and the implementation of the Serious Violence Duty, the VRU, GMP and all our partners, will continue to work with young people across Greater Manchester to lead them towards alternatives to violence, and ensure our communities are safe now and in the future.”

Superintendent Caroline Hemingway, GMP’s knife crime lead, said: “Operation Venture was set up in December 2022 as Greater Manchester Police’s answer to the threat of serious violence and knife crime. The data in the VRU annual report shows strong progress is being made, and we are continuing to build on that, with early data showing that in the 12 months to May this year, there has been a further significant decrease in homicides, down by 36% compared to 2022, and knife enabled homicides dropped 27%.

“The team is specially selected to respond to serious violence and over the past four months have carried out 141 arrests and 175 stop searches where action was taken against the person who was searched. The team has also conducted 58 disruption visits – these are visits to habitual knife carriers to ensure they are complying with bail conditions.

“A total number of 47 weapons have been seized and removed from the streets of Greater Manchester and 40 weapons sweeps have been carried out, where officers look to recover hidden or discarded weapons.”

The annual report highlights the successes of the VRU over the last year, including over 10,000 young people being involved in prevention activity from youth groups, schools and colleges. Over, 1,129 young people involved in community sport through the work the VRU and Greater Sport have commissioned with StreetGames and other providers. And over 800 young people referred to Greater Manchester’s Navigator service, designed to help young people aged 10-25 cope and recover from their experience of violence and assist with access to local support networks to prevent the potential of further violence.

Find out more about the VRU’s impact here: Impact 2 – Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (

Article posted on: 11/05/2023 04:05pm

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