Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness’s Violence Reduction Unit has put plans in place to ramp up activity over the summer in a bid to stop spikes in violence and keep people safe.

With more people heading out to enjoy the warmer weather and the Violence Reduction Unit having already successfully piloted more activity over the Jubilee weekend and at iconic events such as The Hopping’s, it has made summer plans a key focus in the weeks ahead.

The Violence Reduction Unit aims to get ahead of the curve this year after launching its Summer Violence Fund, as part of its response to reducing crime.

Through working closely with the Community Safety Partnerships in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear to develop projects to reduce serious violence over the summer period, it has led the Violence Reduction Unit to invest over £100,000 in local communities to provide:

  • Newcastle with additional staff to engage the public and young people in the City Centre as well as the parks and green spaces.
  • Northumberland with a team of officers and youth workers deployed in identified areas to disrupt a rise in crime.
  • Gateshead with a team to engage young people over the summer holidays to prevent increases in anti-social behaviour.
  • North Tyneside with funding to enable staff to further engage with young people and provide diversionary activities.
  • South Tyneside with additional resource to identify, engage and support young people in sports activities and educational sessions.
  • Sunderland with youth outreach work taking place in and around the City Centre, supported by additional wardens and officers.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Violence is unacceptable at any time of the year, and now that summer has arrived, we all want to enjoy everything our region has to offer – especially now we are seeing some normality back in our lives. But, it’s so important to me that everyone feels safe and that support is readily available to those who need it. That’s why my Violence Reduction Unit have provided additional resource throughout the summer, to engage with individuals at the earliest opportunity and prevent crime before it starts.

Assistant Chief Constable David Felton said: “As a Force, we are committed to cutting serious violence and tackling the underlying causes of repeat offending.

“Our collective approach to reducing serious violence is succeeding, as supported by national figures which show hospital admissions fell by eight per cent and 14 per cent year-on-year in 2019-20 and 2020-21 respectively.

“The number of offences involving firearms have also significantly reduced.

“This shows that the important work we are doing with partners to protect our communities and prevent these types of incident from happening in the first place is making a difference.

“We will continue to look to build on the excellent work already under way, including to help educate people about the dangers of being involved in such activity and help them make better choices.

“By working together we can continue to drive down crime and help ensure our region remains a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Now in its fourth year, the Violence Reduction Unit will continue its work to interrupt violence by using data and local intelligence, addressing offending behaviours, educating young people and providing diversionary activities to prevent crime by improving lives.

For more information, please contact the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit by email