Welcome to Issue 1 of our monthly 'Update'
Hello, and welcome to the first Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (MVRP) news update. Let me introduce myself. I am Andy Ryan, head of Merseyside VRP, having taken up the post in July. This monthly update intends to inform you – our key partners and stakeholders – about our news, activities, and shared progress.
Some of you may wonder, ‘What is Merseyside VRP?’ so let me explain. MVRP is a partnership of agencies, which seeks to reduce serious violence across Merseyside using a public health approach. This means that we don’t consider violence as isolated incidents, nor as a problem for police enforcement alone. Instead, we look at violence as a preventable consequence of various factors, such as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). We look to understand the scale and nature of the problem before working with agencies and communities to co-design interventions and policies to tackle its root causes.
Many of us live and work in Merseyside, and so reducing the risk of serious violence runs close to our hearts. Occasionally, we may ask for your support to develop ideas to help us achieve our collective goals. In coming months, we’ll share new videos, animations and campaign news but in the meantime, I’d like to invite you to visit our website (www.merseysidevrp.com) where you will find downloadable materials and reports, campaign assets and media updates.
We believe that all communities across Merseyside have the right to be free from violence in order to provide the best life chances for all. With this as our ultimate goal, we aim to reduce the number of victims of violent crime and the amount of people hospitalised as a result of assault injuries.
To address serious violence, we need to understand it. Data helps us do that. For that reason, one of our primary goals is to inform our work by being both driven by data and evidence-led, so we invest significant resource into better understanding causation. What is it that drives people to inflict serious harm on other individuals? How can we spot the indicators that someone will use force or weapons against another? MVRP work closely with academic partners to allow us to evaluate what works, and crucially, what doesn’t so we can make informed decisions and make a real difference.
However, we also want to reduce the fear of violence, which can have a significant impact upon an individual’s health and wellbeing. These are ambitious goals but we’re confident that we can have a meaningful and positive impact through long-term, sustainable solutions by working in partnership with other agencies across Merseyside and with our communities and young people.
You will see in our launch that we have announced Project Dialogue – the VRP’s ambition to open its digital doors to another important voice in our team: Merseyside’s young people. We want to find out what they’re thinking and feeling about safety and violence so we can address their hopes, aspirations and fears with policy and decision-makers to bring about a better, healthier community for us all to live in.
You’ll also see that we successfully persuaded David Mcilveen from the National Probation Service to ‘go first’ in our ‘Meet The Team’ story – a regular feature so you can get to know us, which will be interspersed with ‘Meet Our Partner’, so we can talk about your work, too.
In coming weeks, keep an eye on our social media, (links are at the bottom of the Update), and our website for the VRP’s new film introducing more of the team and explaining our work.
Thank you for taking the time to read our first update and, above all, stay safe.