Who we are
The Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit was established in 2019, funded by the Home Office to deliver upon the government’s Serious Violence Strategy.
We are one of a network of 20 VRUs set up across England and Wales in the areas with the highest levels of serious violence.
We are a partnership body which brings together representation from policing, local authority community safety, children’s services and social care, prisons and probation, education, youth offending and the voluntary and community sector.
The VRU is led by our Director, Superintendent Stan Gilmour. The VRU’s programme of activity and projects is delivered through the work of a core programme team, drawn from the police, local authorities, education professionals and other specialists.
The wider VRU partnership
The VRU represents the complex partnership landscape of the Thames Valley and its diverse communities.
The VRU works with nine local place-based partnerships, known as serious violence reduction partnerships. They span the whole Thames Valley region, led by the local authority and drawing in the range of local public and voluntary sector partners and community representation.
To coordinate our work, we have established the VRU Operating Model. This is a governance and meeting structure which allows for strategic oversight and scrutiny, central coordination and local delivery.
Our shared vision
The vision of the Thames Valley VRU is to reduce serious violence in our communities, especially where it affects young people in public places.
We will enable the vision by improving community safety and wellbeing through a change in the behaviours associated with violence.
We will embed public health approaches to tackling the root causes of violence, through earlier interventions and prevention activity.
We will make this culturally and financially sustainable by focusing on multi-agency, whole system approaches.
We will build the capacity of our communities and the voluntary sector to become involved and to play an active part in reducing serious violence and will give all in our community, particularly the young, a voice and influence over all our work.
Our core function
Our core function is to provide leadership and strategic coordination of the local response to serious violence.
We do this by working with a wide partnership across the Thames Valley, involving our partners and the communities we serve.
The Thames Valley VRU Operating Model provides a structure to bring the many partners together, to give representation, to coordinate our activity and to share learning and best practice.
Our underpinning principles
Together with our partners, we have agreed the following underpinning principles:
- We will embed public health approaches to tackling serious violence and its root causes
- We will be data-led and use evidence-based practices and interventions, with a commitment to sharing our learning
- We will embed trauma-informed practices and approaches