By KLTV Newsdesk –
Over 200 young people in Kirklees have benefited from a West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) approach, developed alongside the local community, it has been revealed.
In a ‘co-production’ approach, those in the Ashbrow, Dewsbury West, Greenhead and Newsome worked in partnership with the VRU and Safer Kirklees.
Locals shared their experiences and views on key themes such as knife crime, leading to the delivery of five projects specifically designed to respond to the issues raised.
Safety for Music (SIM), Team Hanson, LS2Y, Trillz and Ravensthorpe Community Centre were each involved.
Representatives from each of the projects attended an event at Huddersfield Town Hall yesterday (30/05) to reflect upon their achievements with partners.
Translating Voices into Action
Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh, said: “It was great to see the voice of our local communities translated into action through these fantastic local projects, designed to combat serious violent crime.
“Local people know more than most what needs to be done to bring about positive change, and by working together and channelling our resources we can have a profound impact.
“To see that more than 200 young people were engaged in these projects is fantastic, not to mention the 164 parents, carers and grandparents who were also involved.
“It means that more young people are being educated about the dangers of knife crime and the wider issues driving serious violent crime in West Yorkshire.”
West Yorkshire Combined Authority have released a series of videos showcasing some of the projects in action
C/Supt Marsh added that by utilising the local community groups’ established presence, knowledge and experience, they were able to fund bespoke packages that directly acted upon the feedback received.
“The projects have also acted as a diversionary tool, offering a long-term interest, removing many from the potential of negative influence.
“I know a significant number came away with life plans, employment, and work experiences opportunities, as well as new skills, such as first aid.
“Likewise, it has greatly helped in breaking down barriers at various levels, opening up the opportunity for conversations on particularly challenging topics.”
Councillor Carole Pattison, Cabinet Member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, added: “I share the concerns of residents around the issues of knife crime and violent crime in our communities.
“That’s why I’m so supportive of this co-production approach which allows Kirklees Council and the Violence Reduction Unit to work with residents and community organisations to deliver a response that is suitable and tailored for each area and community.
“Through this way of working we are recognising and valuing each other’s strengths, ideas, and local knowledge which is seeing extremely positive outcomes.
“Not only have 200 young people benefited from this work, but the wider community will also have felt, and will go on to feel, the benefits of the work that has been undertaken.
“I’d like to thank all the young people, the community organisations, and colleagues at the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit for working together to build trust and resilience in our communities.”