The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has last week announced that one of the first actions of the new Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) will be to lead an urgent review of homicide and the most serious violent incidents in the capital.
Sadiq wants the results of the review as quickly as possible to help develop a long-term public health approach to tackling serious violence in London. The VRU will use a capital-wide review of homicide and serious violence cases to understand and establish key trends to inform its work and set out priorities. The review will help to determine where to focus attention in order to deliver early, local interventions to help reduce the spread of violence across the city.
On Monday, the Mayor chaired the first meeting of the VRU Partnership Reference Group – an advisory body that will initially focus on setting up the unit and set strategic direction and priorities, which includes leaders from the Metropolitan Police, Public Health England and other health services, criminal justice agencies, community and youth groups and local authorities. It will also be supported by members of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit which led the approach to tackling violence initially in Glasgow more than a decade ago, and now works right across Scotland.
The Mayor wants work to get underway immediately on a review of the most serious violent incidents, which will cover cases involving violence, including all homicides, from 2014, the year serious violent crime started rising.
As part of its initial work, the unit will use data, research and knowledge from across the partnership to help tackle challenges such as street violence, knife crime and both domestic abuse and sexual violence as they are often present in the life of perpetrators of violence.