The Police and Crime Commissioner has appointed Graham Jones as the new permanent Head of the Violence Reduction Unit.
The appointment comes as the current post holder Rachel Staniforth returns to her Public Health training programme after a career break with the Violence Reduction Unit. Rachel has led the establishment of the Unit in its foundation stage, with £1.6m funding provided by the Home Office to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner in each of its first two years.
Graham Jones comes to the Violence Reduction Unit from his post as Head of the National Probation Service in Barnsley and Sheffield. He has over 14 years’ experience as a senior manager in the Probation Service and has led on a number of local, regional and national transformation programmes. He has wide experience in stakeholder engagement at a strategic level and has also commissioned treatment and preventative services for violent offenders.
In his role with the National Probation Service, Graham was already a member of the Violence Reduction Unit Board and is a passionate believer in the public health approach to preventing offending.
Speaking of his appointment, Graham said: “I am delighted to take on the role of Head of the Violence Reduction Unit. Finding ‘common purpose’ with partners is crucial to the achievement of shared ambitions and I look forward to building the collaborative relationships that will help reduce violence across South Yorkshire.”
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Executive Board said: “Graham is the right person to lead the Violence Reduction Unit at this moment. The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit is a wide partnership of many organisations and Graham comes from one of them, the Probation Service. He comes with a wealth of experience which he will draw upon as he takes the Violence Reduction Unit forward to keep people away from violence and to turn lives around.
“He will be building on very strong foundations in a unit that is seen nationally as one of the most effective in the country.
“I also thank Rachel Staniforth, who is leaving us to return to her career in Public Health. Her dynamic leadership brought the partners together two years ago and she leaves a strong partnership that is determined to make a real difference, reducing violence in each District.”
Graham’s appointment commenced on Monday, 1 March as Graham and Rachel work on a handover, before Rachel leaves the Violence Reduction Unit on 23 March.