West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership to host event at Dean Clough

Dean CloughDean Clough
Dean Clough
Organisations across West Yorkshire are pledging to tackle knife crime together as a national week of focused activity begins with an event in Halifax.

The West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) will host a key event at Dean Clough alongside local organisations, projects, and community leaders.

It sees a range of speakers and the demonstration of a virtual reality immersive learning programme to combat knife crime.

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Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin is launching the event and said: “Every life lost to violent crime is a tragedy which is why we are determined to tackle this as a matter of urgency.

"At the recent election, I promised a long-term strategy to deal with serious violence, and that is what we will do.

“We will bring organisations together, we will innovate, and we will use the latest technology.

“Alongside our partners, we will work to prevent the heartache of families losing loved ones to violent crime. We will make West Yorkshire a safer region for all.”

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Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP), Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Berry said: “Tackling knife crime can only be achieved in partnership and it is events like this that allow us to recognise the gaps and meet the challenges.

“There is a huge amount of preventative and proactive work underway to protect our communities from serious violence.

“Over the past year alone, the VRP has reached 24,991 young people under 24 and 816 over 25 through our focused interventions, not to mention training 392 professionals.”

Chief Inspector James Kitchen is from West Yorkshire Police’s ‘Operation Jemlock’ dedicated to tackling knife crime and added: “We know residents are very concerned about knife offending and we remain committed to the significant work we are conducting to reduce it.

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“Our operations run every day of the week to take offenders and weapons off the streets, as does the huge investment in knife crime awareness work in communities, and young people within them, in particular.

“The Sceptre weeks of action are a really important part of our ongoing work with partners to keep driving knife crime down. Residents will see a number of operations taking place in their communities by Operation Jemlock and neighbourhood policing team officers including evidence led patrols, knife sweeps, test purchase operations and a range of enforcement work.

“Neighbourhood Policing Team colleagues will also be attending at a number of schools to engage with children about the risks to themselves and others if they carry knives. There will be the use of the very latest Virtual Reality training to support children in understanding the risks associated with carry knives.

“Working in partnership with communities is absolutely key to making it unacceptable in society to carry blades and this is very much a theme of the week of action to come.”