The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit has contributed to 2,444 children and young people being educated about trauma, healthy relationships and domestic and sexual abuse and 1,739 young people receiving direct interventions since their launch in October 2019.

This has all been made possible by the work carried out by some of South Yorkshire’s non-profit community organisations who were successful in bidding for funding from the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Fund.

Funding was made available for organisations to bid for up to £20,000 to support the work of the unit by engaging with young people and offering projects and initiatives to prevent and reduce violence.

In addition to the above numbers, 677 individuals have been involved in activities to improve community cohesion and prevent hate crime and ethnically/racially motivated anti-social behaviour.

Temporary Superintendent Lee Berry, Joint Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “These are some impactive numbers that we are seeing here in such a short period of time.  It was difficult deciding on which organisations should receive the funding during the application process, but I think the results and outcomes show that all of the successful recipients have worked extremely hard to deliver their activities aimed at educating young people and steering them away from engaging in violent activities.

“We held an event in December to introduce all of the groups and allow them the opportunity to hear about each other’s work.  This proved hugely beneficial as they are now sharing ideas across social media and providing support to each other.

“I’m pleased to see that we also supported 48 families at further risk of domestic abuse with the SmartWater forensic marking initiative and 1,450 items of security equipment was purchased to protect victims of domestic abuse.

The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit awarded funding to 33 organisations and groups who are all providing support on stopping violence before it begins (primary prevention), halting the progression of violence (secondary prevention) and looking for ways out of violence and crime (tertiary prevention), along with criminal justice and enforcement and attitudinal change.

It was not just young people that the funding supported.  Project Nova supported 78 veterans referred to them who were at risk of engaging with criminal activity and £61,865 of illegal tobacco products was lost by criminal groups as a result of inspections of business premises.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “In the last few years we have become an angry and more violent society. When this results in crime, we must have a police force with the resources to deal with them. But we also need to tackle the causes of violence and not just the crime. This is what the Violence Reduction Unit was set up to do, using government funding that we have successfully bid for.

“The interventions we have funded so far have reached impressive numbers of people in South Yorkshire and will contribute towards making the county a safer place.”

Funding was awarded to organisations across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield and a full list of successful recipients can be seen here – Successful Grant Recipients.

The domestic abuse prevention fund is now open for applications until 7 August.  For more information on how to apply, visit our website here – Domestic Abuse Prevention Fund