New taskforce set to tackle violent crime
A taskforce has been launched to tackle violent crime across the region.
The Violence Reduction Unit brings together Greater Manchester Police, National Probation Service, health and education professionals, youth justice and local authorities to address the underlying causes of violent crime and work together with communities to prevent it.
It forms part of the county’s approach to tackling serious violent crime, which includes making sure victims of violent crime get the right support, and improving the criminal justice response to all forms of serious violence.
The launch of the unit comes as recent figures show that knife-related crime is starting to come down. Statistics show there were 229 reported crimes involving a knife or sharp instrument in June 2019 – the lowest in 12 months.
The work of the unit will include working with schools to increase awareness of the consequences of getting involved in violent crime, identifying and working with young people at risk of violent crime, and developing a community-led approach to prevention and early intervention.
Police officers will also carry out targeted activity on transport routes, in town and city centres, hospital emergency departments, and test purchase operations will be carried out to tackle the illegal purchase of weapons.
GM Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes said: “Violent crime causes serious harm and blights the lives of victims, families and communities. We are committed, not only to strong enforcement against violent crime, but also to trying to prevent it happening.
“The work of this new unit will strengthen the good work already happening within our communities, bringing together police, local authorities, youth services, health, education and schools, to embed a community-led approach to prevention and enforcement.”
The unit is also working with academics to build a more comprehensive picture of violent crime across Greater Manchester and get a better understanding of the causes and how to prevent it.
Ms Hughes added: “If we can turn young people away from violence at the earliest possible opportunity we can make a real difference to them and our communities.”