The Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) was established in 2019 as one of 18 Home Office funded Violence Reduction Units nationwide.
The partnership includes representatives from Sussex Police, the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, East and West Sussex County Council’s and Brighton City Council, along with Public Health (regionally and locally), Clinical Commissioning Groups and Probation.
Working to the principles of the Public Health approach, the VRP is aimed at reducing serious violence across Sussex, with a particular focus on young people under 25. It does this through a devolved model, which includes a Violence Reduction Partnership in each of the three Local Authority areas (East, West and Brighton & Hove) and a Pan-Sussex group, which oversees and guides delivery. A small team, also funded by the Home Office supports this work.
Each of the three VRPs commission a number of Home Office funded interventions and projects that work with young people most at risk of serious violence and exploitation, and these interventions are delivered through service providers across Sussex.
Examples of these interventions include work within Pupil Referral Units in East Sussex, where the Youth Justice Service deliver one to one sessions, group work, outreach and family support to pupils vulnerable to exploitation, or who may be carrying knives.
In Brighton and Hove, the VRP funds the Brighton Streets detached youth work service provided by the Trust for Developing Communities. This year, Brighton Streets is also working with the National Probation Service and a range of other organisations to deliver mentoring services, arts-based engagement and sport and music-based diversionary activities for young people up to 25.
The West Sussex VRP is working on a newly commissioned Coastal Detached Youth Programme, which will be focused in hotspot areas of the county. The partnership is also funding a mixture of programmes across schools in Littlehampton and Worthing to include specialist support to high risk children such as those recently returned from exclusion, or who have other significant risk factors.
A key principle of the Public Health approach to serious violence is community engagement and ensuring that communities and young people are feeding their voices into VRP to steer activity. As part of our commitment to this principle the VRP is seeking representatives from the voluntary & community sector from across Sussex to sit on the Sussex Violence Reduction Steering Group (SVRSG), which currently meets every month/two months.
Ideally, the VRP would like one representative from each area, and given the frequency of meetings there would be the potential to rotate attendance to reduce time commitments. The VRP is looking members who are interested in helping it connect with communities and young people and who can bring challenge and new ideas and ways of thinking.
If you would like to become a member of the SVRSG, please contact Rachel Jeffreys at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information on the Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership can be found here: www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/VRP.