A new Home Office report evaluating the effectiveness of Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) has found that they have helped prevent 3,220 hospital admissions for any violent injury since funding began in 2019.
The report, compiled by Ecorys UK; Ipsos UK; the University of Hull; and the University of Exeter, comes four years after the Home Office announced that 18 police force areas (PFAs) would receive funding to establish (or build upon existing) VRUs as part of the Serious Violence Fund. In 2022, a further 2 PFAs received funding to establish VRUs.
The report says “findings this year are encouraging” and show that a “statistically significant reduction in more serious forms of violence has been achieved”. This represents progress compared to previous years, something, the report says, that is consistent with previous research which shows the “impact on the most serious violence may take longer to materialise”.
Among the report’s recommendations are the need to develop a clear, shared vision; develop and maintain strong relationships; and secure long-term funding and strategic planning.
For a more in-depth dive, read the full Home Office VRU report.