What is the Violence Reduction Unit?

The Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is built on the belief that if we improve lives, we can prevent crime, so that we can all live, learn and work free from a fear of violence.

We take a public health approach to tackling violent crime – so just like a disease, we aim to recognise the symptoms, understand the causes, stop the transmission, help people to avoid it and give them the tools they need to tackle it.

This includes taking a direct approach to intervening with those who are showing signs of vulnerability or are on the fringes of criminal and anti-social activity, working to address the behaviour of those causing the most harm in communities, alongside key services and organisations.

Read more about our response to serious violence here.


Our Stats


Students upskilled by our Education Team


Young people engaged through Youth Fund


Professionals trained in knife crime awareness


Vulnerable Adults Supported

Educational Resources

Our dedicated Education Team deliver sessions to young people in schools or in other settings such as youth groups. Their sessions are informative, impactful and interactive with a focus on prevention and general awareness.

The team cover a range of topics including knife crime, malicious communications, child criminal exploitation and more.

Response Strategy

In Northumbria we want to improve lives to prevent crime. By using a public health approach, we are able to better understand the causes of violent crime and work more effectively to stop it escalating. To achieve that, we will work with others to stop violence before it starts, halt its progression and provide ways out for people already trapped in violent behaviour.

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Funding and Commissioning

At the start of Phase 3 (April 2021), we have now commissioned over £5million worth of work across Northumbria to improve lives to prevent crime. Here you will be able to see the projects involved, and any current funding opportunities.

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