To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the success of Violence Reduction Units in preventing gang and knife crime committed by those from families where there is little or no father involvement.
5 August 2020
This government is investing £70m over two years to support the development of Violence Reduction Units. Some VRUs have commissioned targeted initiatives aimed at parents and families which strengthen family-based decision-making, provide counselling support and support those with incarcerated parents. The impact of VRUs’ work will take time to be seen, and evidence from the Glasgow VRU suggests that the effect will be gradual and will accumulate over time.
The Home Office has commissioned an independent process evaluation of VRUs during 2019/20 which will be published later this summer. Evaluation of VRUs during 2020/21 will include both process and impact elements allowing us to investigate how and why any initial impact is occurring. The Youth Violence Commission has welcomed the Government’s commitment to VRUs and the package of challenge and support we have put in place for their success.
Whilst an assessment has not been made of the role of family hubs in preventing knife crime, this government has invested £1.085bn through the Troubled Families programme. The programme, which is delivered by local authorities and their partners, is driving public services to work together to provide effective, coordinated support to our most disadvantaged families. The risk of serious violence is one of the recently added criterion for suitability for the programme.
Similarly, this government has made early intervention and prevention a priority, investing £200 million in initiatives to support young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund. We are also investing £500 million through the new DCMS Youth Investment Fund over five years, helping to build 60 new youth centres across the country, refurbish around 360 existing youth facilities, and provide over 100 mobile facilities for harder to reach areas. The YIF will also support the provision and coordination of high-quality services for young people, and an investment in the youth workforce.v