Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner awarded £880,000 to set up Violence Reduction Unit

  Posted: 12.08.19 at 15:35 by The Editor




Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is to be awarded a slice of £35m to set up specialist teams to tackle violent crime, the Government has announced today (Mon).

Leicestershire PCC Lord Willy Bach will be given £880,000 to set up a Violence Reduction Unit, bringing together different organisations, including the police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners to tackle violent crime by understanding its root causes.

The new unit will be responsible for identifying what is driving violent crime and coming up with a co-ordinated response.

The announcement follows a roundtable at Downing Street, hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, bringing together the police, probation and prisons and leaders to discuss how to cut crime and improve the criminal justice system.

The Prime Minister has vowed to give police the powers and resources they need to urgently tackle serious violence, cut crime and target county lines gangs.

The cash is being awarded to PCCs in the 18 areas worst affected by serious violence.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: "To beat knife crime we must do two things: first we need assertive, high profile police enforcement and second, we need a coordinated approach to the long term solutions to violence in society, especially amongst the young.

"These new units should help us get results on both."

On Thursday (8 Aug) Lord Bach announced the appointment of a Strategic Director to lead the development of the county’s new Violence Reduction Unit.

Grace Strong, who has specialist experience tackling young adult offending in her work within probation services and multi-agency teams, will head a multi-partnership team whose focus is to reduce violence and knife crime across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The key goals are to reduce hospital admissions related to violence, reduce knife-related serious violence and reduce all non-domestic homicides.

Grace Strong said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Strategic Director of our Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

"The causes of serious violence are complex, and the challenges ahead are undoubtedly significant.

"However, I am confident that with a shared ambition, commitment and the right approach, the VRU - working closely with partners and communities - can make the changes needed to prevent and reduce violence.”

Lord Bach added: “Under Grace’s capable leadership, we will have a real opportunity to make a difference to young people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and prevent knife crime and violence both now and in the long term.”

A senior Probation Officer in Loughborough and Melton, Grace went on to become Team Manager of the Multi-Agency Prolific and Priority Offender Management and Integrated Offender Management Programme.

Later, she went on to hold a range of management roles within the Reducing Reoffending Partnership including Interim Head of Partnerships.

Career highlights include leading Leicestershire and Rutland’s Young Adult Project (Yap!), which prioritised young people aged 16-24 at risk of committing crime and examined how agencies could work differently and more effectively to improve outcomes.

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