The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit Response Strategy is based on a number of key priorities. Through working on these priorities, the overall aim of this strategy is to build safer communities through reducing violent crime; addressing the causes, and the causes of the causes, of violence; and building strong, empowered communities.

The priorities in the Response Strategy are:

  • Provide evidence and insights
  • Engage communities and build trust
  • Establish long-term funding
  • Strengthen local, multi-agency partnerships
  • Develop joint strategy
  • Early intervention and prevention
  • Disrupt and divert violent crime

Each of these priorities is covered in more detail below.

Provide evidence and insights

This priority involves the collection, analysis, and plotting of data across organisations to understand neighbourhoods at a local level, building on the work done in the Area Profile. The VRU will engage partners in working towards the priorities identified in the Area Profile, and this work will be guided by an evaluation of what is and isn’t working, in South Yorkshire, nationally, and internationally.

Engage communities and build trust

This priority focuses on building the trust and confidence of local communities. This will be done by listening to them and understanding their concerns, and being open and communicative in the way we share information. We will aim to build public confidence in the VRU and partner organisations, and encourage reporting of violence to South Yorkshire Police and other appropriate authorities.

Establish long-term funding

This priority focuses on the need for funding to secure the long-term viability of violence reduction activities.

Strengthen local, multi-agency partnerships

This priority focuses on the partnership working which is at the centre of everything the VRU does. It involves working closely with key partners from South Yorkshire Police; healthcare; the four South Yorkshire local authorities; housing; education; business; courts; probation; voluntary, youth, and faith organisations; and other local providers.

This means working within existing local partnership arrangements, such as Community Safety Partnerships, in order to strengthen community assets and resilience, and continuing to strengthen engagement between partners.

Develop joint strategy

This priority involves working with partners to develop a joint approach to preventing and reducing violence, with a focus on promoting the Public Health Approach to this issue. This means working to understand current services and provision, aligning objectives, and sharing resources.

It further means aligning with other strategies and connecting to existing work, for example through Community Safety Partnerships.

Early intervention and prevention

This priority involves adding value to existing services, to promote early intervention, particularly with children and young people, to prevent them from becoming involved in violence and criminality.

To do this, the key factors are: communities having access to the right information, advice, and support; earlier identification of issues; and developing a stronger role for the voluntary, community, and faith sectors.

Disrupt and divert violent crime

This priority focuses on improving neighbourhood policing and police visibility; reducing reoffending by working together; proactively disrupting violent crime; offering positive diversionary activities; and working in partnership to support victims of all ages.