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More than £1 million set aside to solve violence in Thames Valley

Olly Stephens

MORE THAN £1 million is being pushed into solving the root cause of serious violence, thanks to the Home Office.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley will receive an additional £1,160,000 to support the work of the Violence Reduction Unit — which helps to prevent individuals from becoming involved in serious violence in the region.

The VRU aims to bring a coordinated response, involving local authorities, health, education, policing, third sector organisations and members of the community to understand the root causes of serious violence.

Matthew Barber, deputy police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “The VRU does vital work that is helping to cut serious violence and ultimately save lives. I am delighted that the Home Office is continuing to fund the work of the Violence Reduction Unit, and we will ensure that this extra money goes to support services that will reduce crime and violence in our communities.”

He said the unit provides “wide-reaching benefits” to communities and is part of the strategic priorities for policing in the area.

Superintendent Stan Gilmour, director of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, said: “We work with and for our communities to tackle the root causes of serious violence by bringing great people together with a common focus on prevention.

“The VRU uses the best available data and information to make sure those police officers, staff and partners tackling serious violence know where they need to be present, whom they need to be working with, and how to have the greatest impact.”

Announcing the funding to 18 areas, including the Thames Valley, home secretary Priti Patel said the units play a vital role in preventing young people from being “dragged into the horrors of serious violence”.

She added: “I will continue to back our police with the resources and powers they need to cut crime and make your community safer.”

The VRU looks at violence as a consequence of a range of factors, opposed to not as isolated incidents.

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