£3.37m funding for Violence Reduction unit confirmed

Merseyside / August 12

The Policing Minister has today confirmed that Merseyside will receive £3.37m to fund a new Violence Reduction Unit.

It was first announced in June that Merseyside had been provisionally awarded the funding from the Home Secretary's Serious Violence Fund to set up the new unit, but the Commissioner has today finally received confirmation of the award.

Merseyside's Violence Reduction Unit will bring together local police, health and education professionals,c ommunity leaders and other key stakeholders to understand the causes of serious violence in Merseyside and agree a co-ordinated response.  

The cash will be used on a number of short and long-term projects aimed at diverting people away from violence, including working with charities to support children at risk of being excluded from school, criminal exploitation or committing serious violence.

In May, Merseyside's Police Commissioner first announced her intention to establish a multi-agency partnership with the aim of preventing and reducing the incidences of violence, as well as identifying the underlying reasons for the recent increase in serious crime on Merseyside.

Jane Kennedy said: "This is good news and a welcome boost to all those professionals and community and voluntary heroes who have already committed to a public health approach to tackling serious violence in Merseyside.

“I look forward to working closely with Merseyside Police and their partners to establish lasting change to save lives."

The cash for the unit comes from £35 million that was put aside from the £100 million surge fund to tackle serious violence.

It was awarded to Merseyside after the Commissioner and force submitted a successful bid for the provisional allocation of the funding. One condition the government has set is that the money must all be spent by April 2020.

It follows on from a successful bid for a total of £4.2m in "surge funding" to enable Merseyside Police to deliver short term operational activities to tackle serious violence, focussing on reducing and reacting to street violence.