Home Office VRU evaluation
In late December 2023, the Home Office published their evaluation into Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) for 2022 / 2023. The full report and executive summary can be read here
This is a report on progress across the 20 VRUs, of which Essex is one.
The findings are encouraging, showing that a statistically significant reduction in more serious forms of violence has been achieved across the 20 VRU areas. This represents progress compared to previous years.
There has also been a statistically significant reduction in hospital admissions for any violent injury (which is a secondary outcome). Since funding began in 2019, an estimated 3,220 total (or 8 per 100,000 persons) admissions have been prevented in funded areas.
The primary measure of hospital admissions is for sharp object violent injury or homicides – at this time this does not show a statistically significant reduction. This finding is consistent with previous research showing that impact on the most serious violence may take longer to materialise.
The report also considers the strengths and areas for development for partnership work to address serious violence. Building on the good progress made in previous years, VRUs continued to demonstrate progress and showed signs of maturing and becoming embedded in local responses to prevent violence.