Over £1m in funding to support violence reduction unit

Several cars have been targeted by thieves in Great Chesterford

Several cars have been targeted by thieves in Great Chesterford - Credit: Archive picture

Essex Police will receive an extra £1.16 million for the county's Violence and Vulnerability Unit.

Violence Reduction Units bring together organisations to tackle violent crime and address underlying causes, and to fund preventative projects with children and young people.

The Essex unit was set up in 2019 and focuses on gangs, county lines and child criminal and sexual exploitation.

The multi-agency partnership includes Essex Police, the Police, Fire and Crime Youth Offending Services, probation service, councils, voluntary sector and health.

Roger Hirst

Roger Hirst - Credit: Archant

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex and chair of the unit said: "The announcement that the Essex VVU will receive funding in 2021/22 validates the work we are doing and the inroads we are making to make our communities safer.”

He added: "In Essex we know that working together, through our Violence and Vulnerability Unit, can turn the tide against these gangs, protect the vulnerable and help to ensure we all live prosperous and productive lives."

Kemi Badenoch MP

Kemi Badenoch MP - Credit: Kemi Badenoch

Saffron Walden constituency MP Kemi Badenoch welcomed the announcement. The county is one of 18 areas across England and Wales to receive a share of £35.5m.

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Mrs Badenoch said that in addition, more than £2million is being made available via a winter contingency fund package. This money is being delivered through Violence Reduction Units to local charities and social enterprises that support vulnerable young people at risk of involvement in violence through lockdown.

She said the money forms part of a wider government drive which includes bringing in 20,000 additional police officers over the next three years, 6,620 of which have already been recruited.

Mrs Badenoch said: “This funding will help bring together organisations across our communities to tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes, as well as funding vital local projects that do positive preventative work with children and young people.

“I recently spoke with Essex County Council regarding youth organisations within the constituency who also play a crucial role in support our young people.

“By backing Essex Police with the funding, powers and resources they need, we are keeping the public and our communities safe.”