VRU focus - safety of women and girls

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Tackling violence against women and girls, creating an environment where women and girls can feel safe and be safe is a key priority of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) which is overseen by the Mayor.

A selection key pieces of work on this theme from the VRU can be seen below. You can also contact the VRU via email at VRU@westyorks-ca.gov.uk.


VRU Needs Assessment
The Needs Assessment for the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) provides an evidence-based public health assessment of serious violence in the county. It does this by identifying, defining and analysing the underlying drivers of violence particular to the region. The picture built through the assessment informs the VRU’s Response Strategy, allowing the team to deliver bespoke, targeted interventions to the areas of greatest need, where they will have the greatest impact. Download the West Yorkshire VRU Needs Assessment (PDF 4.80MB)

VRU Response Strategy
This Response Strategy provides a West Yorkshire framework for preventing and reducing serious violence. Informed by the evidence base of the Needs Assessment, the strategy sets out our understanding of serious violence, local needs and how we will respond to this. A refresh of our previous annual Serious Violence Response Strategy, this Strategy brings together a more evidenced based, developed, integrated partnership understanding and vision of tackling serious violence. The Response Strategy therefore provides the framework for the work of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and also that for wider West Yorkshire partners. Download the West Yorkshire VRU Response Strategy (PDF 1.35MB)

Violence Against Women and Girls Report
This report aims to provide an insight into the causes and impacts of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) as understood in current literature and service provision whilst identifying the needs of women and girls in West Yorkshire. Download the Violence Against Women and Girls Report

West Yorkshire Playwright Turning Words into Action Against CSE
The renowned West Yorkshire playwright John Godber wrote and produced a short film entitled ‘Not Round Here’ in a bid to combat the scourge of child criminal exploitation (CCE). Read the news article

Smart Tag Launches Across West Yorkshire’s Bars and Clubs
Over 100 security staff in bars and clubs across the county have been equipped with an innovative forensic spray, designed to increase nightlife safety. The VRU funded a 3-year membership for venues to use the SmartTag handheld tool, developed by the SmartWater Group. SmartTag uses a pressurised canister to deploy a stream of SmartWater forensic liquid to tag an offender with a unique forensic code. This can be used by the police to link back to a specific criminal incident. Read the news article

West Yorkshire Partnership Paving the Way for Trauma Informed Action
Three high profile reports have been published, which will help tackle root causes of adversity, trauma and serious violence across West Yorkshire. The reports have a specific focus on inequality, as well as women and girls. Each will underpin future partnership strategy for a ‘trauma informed’ response. This approach offers an awareness of the effects of trauma, placing it at the forefront of support. Read the news article

VRU Supporting Night Life Safety
The VRU helped to keep revellers safe across the county’s night-time economy. It funded the deployment of a St John Ambulance mobile treatment centre in Leeds City Centre which operated over weekends in Winter 2021. It offered first aid, care, and a place of safety to people socialising throughout the evening and early hours of the morning, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. Read the news article

Pioneering Initiative Improving Night Life Safety
A pioneering licensing initiative to improve the safety and security of bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels been launched across West Yorkshire. Funded by the VRU, it is being delivered in partnership with West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership. A total of 300 specially selected licensed premises across Bradford, Calderdale, Wakefield and Kirklees are being invited to take part in the scheme, which encourages venues to improve their operational security and management practices year on year. Read the news article


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