Public service practitioners and civic leaders from across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland gathered to hear how a different approach has successfully addressed the violence that caused Glasgow to be cited as the ‘Murder Capital of Western Europe’.
They had been invited by Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, to hear Niven Rennie, the acclaimed Director of the Violence Reduction Unit Scotland, explain exactly what a ‘public health’ approach looks like.
“You can’t arrest your way out of these problems,” Niven Rennie declared, before quoting Nelson Mandela: ‘Violence is preventable, not inevitable’.
Citing homelessness, abuse, neglect, family dysfunctionality alongside educational disengagement, poverty and alcohol dependence as root causes, he added: “We must not accept violence, in the same way that we don’t accept driving without safety belts or smoking in public places. So, if we don’t accept violence and we provide people with the support to change their ways, we make progress. I believe that you have to try things, if it works keep doing it, if it doesn’t try something else.”
He wound up saying: “You can’t do innovation with Key Performance Indicators,” which was exceptionally well received by a captivated audience.
The event was hosted by Willy Bach who, following approval of his funding application by the Home Office, will be pivotal to the creation of Leicestershire’s own Violence Reduction Unit. The imperative for a multi-agency approach was not lost on him.
“Niven was simply inspirational,” Willy Bach said today. “He put a fresh perspective on how to tackle the scourge of violence in our communities and he made it clear that this is not just a police problem.
“I have always said that the police cannot work in isolation, and Niven’s presentation accentuated the need for a fully inclusive, cohesive multi-agency task force. If we work together to prevent problems before they become habitual life patterns then we will keep families together, encourage a healthier, more inclusive, way of life and in doing so reduce demand on so many public services.
“It’s clear to me, and it was clear to all our attendees, that doing the same thing, again and again, is pretty pointless if the problem is not abating.
“We are very fortunate that Niven was willing to share his insight and we have a bank of incredible information on which we can now build our own plans.”
The event took place at Police HQ, Enderby on 6 August.
Niven Rennie’s presentation can be found on our YouTube Channel - https://youtu.be/Avnf77J0LGg
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 12th August 2019