Last Updated: 14/08/2019
The South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner is one of eighteen Commissioners across England & Wales to have been awarded part of a £35m fund to establish a specialist Violence Reduction Unit to tackle violent crime in their area.
On Monday 12th August, the Home Office announced that a total of £880k had been awarded to South Wales, the only policing area in Wales to receive funding to help tackle violent crime.
The Violence Prevention Unit will bring together South Wales Police, local authorities, 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 in South Wales to develop a co-ordinated response.
Police & Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Rt Hon Alun Michael said:
“If serious violence is to be reduced it is essential that we further develop work in partnership to tackle root causes, through early intervention and prompt, positive action, taking opportunities to divert people away from serious violence particularly in light of the growing issue of county lines.
“The £880k funding will allow us to develop a Violence Prevention Unit which not only brings together the police, Public Health Wales, youth offending teams, local authorities, education groups and the voluntary sector but also allows us to build upon the powerful ethos of co-operation which has been key to our approach here in South Wales. Together we will identify and support projects that will stop people, especially young people, either becoming involved in crime in the first place, or provide opportunities to divert them away from crime if they are already offending.
“However, it is clear to me that if the Violence Prevention Unit is to have sustainable success, it must be funded beyond March 2020 and I would urge the Government for this funding to be continued in the Comprehensive Spending Review when announced in the autumn and beyond that one-year timeframe that has been proposed by the Chancellor for this Spending Review.
“Our focus must remain on a public health approach to crime reduction and I have been encouraged by the way in which partners are already collaborating to tackle immediate issues, particularly around knife crime and exploitation and are working to a long-term aim that ensures people in Wales can live a life free of serious violence.
“By continuing to tackle crime and its root causes, we will reduce serious violence across our communities and create a safer South Wales.”
APCC Serious Violence Deputy Lead, Marc Jones PCC said:
“This funding to tackle serious violent crime is welcome.
“We know that that best way to reduce violence in our communities is to invest in preventative measures, adopting a whole system public health approach, and that PCCs are best placed to deliver this work locally.
“We will continue to work with the Home Office and our partners to ensure long term investment for all police force areas to tackle the scourge of serious violence.
“The cash is being awarded after PCCs in the 18 areas worst affected by serious violence secured their provisional allocation through successful bids.
“Each unit will be tasked with delivering both short- and long-term strategies to tackle violent crime, involving police, healthcare workers, community leaders and others.”
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