This month we were pleased to see the report by the Children’s Commissioner Still not safe: The public health response to youth violence. It suggests that although Ministers have committed £35 million to Police and Crime Commissioners to set up Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) across 18 police forces, insufficient attention has been paid to the need for agencies in other areas to adopt both a safeguarding and public health response, working in partnership with local police forces. This has meant little work to incentivise, and crucially, monitor and oversee the implementation of action taken by public health bodies themselves and by children’s services.
This Children’s Commissioner’s report suggests that the vast majority of local authorities do not have a sufficient grip on the drivers for youth violence in their areas, nor do they have a cogent strategy to reduce risk factors in vulnerable cohorts. We have been working with clients in this space and are aware of good practice in this space. In addition, we worked with the LGA on developing a resource: Public health approaches to reducing violence.