Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has praised crime prevention partners for the positive progress being made to tackle serious youth violence across the area.
Mr Matthews was responding to a national inspection report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). He added that the Violence Reduction Network (VRN) Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland had provided ‘immeasurable support’ to Leicestershire Police since launching in 2019 and was being used effectively to reduce serious violence across the city and two counties.
Addressing the report’s findings on the need for detailed evaluation of the impact of Police Liaison Officers in tackling violence, Mr Matthews said he believed strongly that positive experiences with police officers at an early age can help deter young people from offending and enhance trust and confidence in the police among the wider community.
The PCC recently funded the Mini Police project which sees primary school children taking part in activities to build their skills, independence and personal development alongside Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in their local Neighbourhood Policing Teams. He also supports a team of school liaison officers who engage with young people in the community.
Against other findings in the report, the PCC highlighted the strong partnership approach taken locally to address serious youth violence with the VRN working closely with representatives from a broad range of organisations including the voluntary and community sector.
Mr Matthews said: “Tackling serious youth violence is a priority for many organisations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Violence. The VRN has continuously secured additional funding to tackle the root causes of serious violence. This highlights its strong track record in delivering meaningful intervention programmes that divert young people away from the criminal justice system.
“This work continues in earnest, and I am very proud of the achievements that have already been delivered. The strong partnership ethic that is now well-embedded across the VRN, the force and its many partners is exceptional.
“The HMICFRS reports makes a number of national recommendations, and I will be discussing these in detail with the Chief Constable and the VRN to ensure we continue to meet the high standards of performance raised in this report.”
The PCC said the VRN’s impressive performance in relation to data sharing across police, heath, social care, education, probation and youth justice is providing a ‘rich source of data’ for identifying risks and issues. This work has seen the development of hot-spot mapping and wider problem-solving work by Leicestershire Police.
He also highlighted the VRN’s partnership with Turning Point who deliver tailored support to young people involved in violence within ‘reachable moment’ settings in both police custody and the Emergency Department at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The full report is available at: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/publications/inspection-of-how-well-the-police-tackle-serious-youth-violence/
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Posted on Tuesday 16th May 2023