New Investment to Support Young People at Risk of Serious Violence

The Home Office is investing £17 million in early intervention and preventative activity to support young people at high risk of involvement in serious violence


This investment by the Home Office will fund 3 types of the best evidenced and most innovative serious violence youth interventions. These are:

  • high-intensity therapeutic interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy, which the Youth Endowment Fund’s Evidence Toolkit identifies as likely to be highly effective in reducing violent crime

  • ‘teachable moment’ style interventions for young people involved in serious violence which capitalise on important moments when they are likely to be most receptive (for example, admission to A&E or in police custody), connecting them to a package of support enabling a more positive life course

  • trauma-informed training for frontline professionals to help them improve support for young people by developing a greater understanding of different types of trauma that may have been experienced by the children and young people they work with

In May 2021, a competition was opened for violence reduction units (VRUs) to bid for funding to deliver these interventions.


VRUs were selected as the delivery body as they operate in the 18 areas across England and Wales most affected by serious violence, which supports the Home Office’s targeted approach to serious violence.


Additionally, VRUs bring together essential partners to reduce violent crime and address its underlying causes, making them best placed to understand the local needs of the area and identify where and how these interventions would be most effective.


Funding for serious violence youth intervention activity in VRU areas announced today for 2021 to 2022 is subject to grant agreements being signed with VRUs.


In addition, the Home Office worked with the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) to create the opportunity for additional multi-year co-funding and for enhanced evaluation to improve the evidence base for these interventions, which will be implemented by VRUs.


The outcomes of the YEF’s co-funding will be announced by the YEF in due course.