What we do

We have a central programme consisting of five workstreams. These provide a structure to a wide range of work led by the VRU, working with partners and our communities to deliver projects and activity across the Thames Valley to prevent serious violence.

From developing new mentoring programmes for young people, to our work to tackle exploitation and drugs. From new ways of working with community groups, to the coordination of hotspot policing operations – you will find the detail to our work programme within these workstreams.

The public health approach to tackling serious violence  

The VRU’s work is underpinned by a commitment to taking a public health approach to tackling the root causes of serious violence.

A public health approach treats violence like an infectious disease. It suggests that to find a ‘cure’ to serious violence, an evidence-led approach should be used to identify what causes violence and find interventions that work to prevent it in the first place.

This public health approach involves multiple public and social services working together to implement early interventions to prevent people from becoming involved in violent crime.

The public health approach is built upon a strong understanding of data. It means working to identify and tackle the risk factors such as growing up in poverty, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)  such as exposure to domestic abuse, substance misuse, exclusion from school and brain injury or neuro-diversity.

 It also means identifying and putting in place the right protective measures, such as education and employment, mentoring support or diversion programmes.  But it also requires an evidence-led approach, ensuring that partners understand what actually works so that we invest in initiatives that will have a positive impact.

Embedding a public health approach to tackling serious violence is a government priority, with the introduction of the new Serious Violence Duty requiring local partners collaborate and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence.

Find out more in our resources section.