The Government has announced that the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit will receive funding for the year 2021/2022 to continue to tackle serious violence across South Yorkshire.

It has been agreed that South Yorkshire will receive £1.6m in funding, which is the same amount as the previous two years.

The unit was set up in 2019 to help prevent and reduce violence across South Yorkshire.  Using a public health approach, the unit works with a range of partner agencies and local community groups.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I very much welcome the announcement of this funding.

“The Violence Reduction Unit is a long-term project which has two main aims. First it seeks to find ways of stopping people, particularly young people, being exposed to or drawn into violence in the first place. And second it will help those who have been involved in violence to turn their lives around.

“The Violence Reduction Unit is a big and bold partnership bringing together a range of partners – including local authorities, the police, the NHS, Public Health, DWP, youth offending teams, schools and colleges, the voluntary and faith sectors.

“We also seek to support those community groups who are helping young people to keep away from violence.

“We will reduce violence and violent crime in South Yorkshire through a combination of tough policing and preventive work.”

Looking at the causes of the causes of violence, the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit looks at what is making young people turn to violence and finds ways to provide support away from this way of life.

Rachel Staniforth, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “It is really good news that the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit can continue doing valuable work across South Yorkshire, with our communities.

“The continuation of this funding means that we can work with our partners and communities to embed our violence reduction priorities in everything that we all do.

“It is important that we work together to prevent violence, and we have funded many community groups who support young people in many ways. We need to recognise that people can change if they want to and are given the right support and environment to do so.

“One of the biggest causes of violence is deprivation. If we all work together to support people through local community organisations, we can provide opportunities for learning, while also advocating for better housing, employment and equality in education. We can make a difference.

“This funding means that we can continue to support people across the county who need that little bit of help to turn their lives around.”