Bedfordshire to share funding to support young people at risk of involvement in serious violence

The government announced on Monday (8 February 2021) that it will provide funding for the 18 Violence Reduction Units (VRU) operating across England and Wales. The £35.5 million, which covers 2021/22, is the third year of funding for the VRUs which are based in areas worst affected by serious violence.

VRUs (or VERU in Bedfordshire) bring together organisations across local communities to tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes. These units also help fund vital local projects that do positive preventative work with children and young people.

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Serious youth violence falls 9 per cent in Bedfordshire

There were 200 fewer victims of serious youth violence in Bedfordshire last year. New strategies and Government funding helped to cut the number of incidents by around 9 per cent.

The Home Office also confirmed that Bedfordshire Police and the county’s Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) have received fresh funding.

Over the past year Bedfordshire Police has been able to draw on £1.38 million of ‘surge funding’ from the Government to run enforcement action targeting things like gangs and drug dealing.

A separate £880,000 from ministers was used to establish the Police and Crime Commissioner’s VERU. This brings together the police, councils, health and community groups to tackle the root causes of violence and offer young people an alternative path.

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