VRU Needs Assessment & Response Strategy

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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)



The Violence Reduction Unit’s Knowledge Hub are continuously striving to better understand the scale and extent of violence in West Yorkshire as well as those root causes and protective factors that may make a person more susceptible or protect them from violence involvement or exploitation.

Our learning is pulled together in the yearly Needs Assessment, which in turn feeds the Response Strategy informing the priority areas we need to address.

Our Needs Assessment also helps us identify where we have gaps in our knowledge and understanding. To address the gaps, we design, undertake and commission research throughout the year.

Whilst key findings will be drawn into the latest version of our Needs Assessment, the full reports are published on the dedicated research page - https://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/policing-and-crime/west-yorkshire-violence-reduction-unit/research/



The VRU exists to reduce and prevent violence in West Yorkshire, increasing safety for residents of the region. As an organisation, the VRU continually looks to refine and develop our suite of activities. A critical component of this process of improvement is our programme of evaluation.

We carry out evaluation because we want to make sure that we are achieving our intended violence reduction outcomes. We also want to make sure that our money is being spent in the right areas and is having the best possible impact.

At the VRU, the key mechanism for reviewing how we achieve our goals is through a cycle of monitoring, review, assessment and analysis that we collectively term evaluation. Nevertheless, we consider evaluation to be any systematic process to judge merit, worth or significance by combining evidence and values.

We evaluate our violence reduction projects through a combination of in-house monitoring that utilises the expertise we have within the VRU, and commissioned external partners to offer us an independent, unbiased and holistic view of our progress.

To see our evaluations visit https://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/policing-and-crime/west-yorkshire-violence-reduction-unit/evaluation/