The Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit and Thames Valley Police have begun an innovative new process to identify children of a parent who is sent to prison, allowing a prompt offer of support for the whole family by the charity Children Heard & Seen.
Early Intervention & Prevention
The public health approach to tackling serious violence is built upon identifying its root causes, identifying those most at risk, the causation factors within their background and environment. Then, the ability able to respond by implementing preventative interventions and diversions at the earliest point.
The Early Intervention & Prevention workstream is driving a shift in focus toward earlier interventions which provide education, support, build social skills and aid decision-making, and help to build resilience and change behaviours.
The VRU is supporting initiatives where there are opportunities for innovation, scalability and wider application and where there are opportunities for longer-term sustainability beyond short-term centralised funding.
This has included providing increased interventions which are universal and open to all, such as increased educational inputs at schools. Also, developing more targeted interventions for those identified as being either at risk (such as to exploitation) and of risk (those who may already have committed violence offences).
A new partnership project in Reading will be converting knives and other offensive weapons taken off the streets into a modern art sculpture. The project will work with local young people to design the sculpture while also helping to educate on the dangers and consequences of knife crime.
The RAW Navigator Scheme offers children intensive one to one mentoring by a social worker to encourage and arrange positive alternative activities and access to additional support.
Thames Valley VRU have established Violence Reductions Networks, led by education partners to embed trauma informed practice in schools to make them more inclusive.
Thames Valley VRU are working with the PSHE Association and NPCC to produce quality assured PSHE resources for schools on key topics such as Substance Use and Violence.
MVP is a peer-led programme enabling schools to work with young people to challenge accepted narratives around violence.
In conjunction with Thames Valley Police’s Foundation Training Team, Police Officers in training will now receive a trauma informed drugs awareness input.