Avon and Somerset is a diverse area, encompassing an energetic city, active towns and villages as well as vast open countryside. This is why we work to a hub and spoke model for our Avon and Somerset Violence Reduction Partnership (ASVRP). The five local councils each have a spoke and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner hosts the strategic hub.

Our model acknowledges that a need in one area could appear entirely differently in another, and that an intervention that proves effective in one area might not be as effective in another. This is why each spoke works closely with their partners to understand their area’s need, issues, concerns, and emerging trends. Working together they identify and address the needs and agree on tailored interventions and projects for the benefit of their local children, young people, parents/carers, and professionals.

The spokes regularly come together with the hub to share their learnings, data, and updates to support the pan Avon and Somerset picture. This information assists the whole partnership in understanding and addressing the root causes of violence across the county.

Over the next few months, we will be using our ASVRP communications channels to tell you more about the work being done in each of the spokes, providing details of their partnership and interventions. This month, we are looking in detail at the North Somerset VRP.

The North Somerset VRP works within the Safer Stronger North Somerset Partnership (SSNSP), which brings together various organizations, agencies, and community members to address issues related to crime prevention, community safety, and overall quality of life. The North Somerset VRP works collaboratively with a variety of partners to identify local risks and vulnerabilities to:

  • Address the underlying causes of violent crime,
  • Deliver bespoke care plans,
  • Offer specialist interventions.

Their team comprises a dedicated VRP Co-ordinator, VRP Project Officer as well as Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers from the Constabulary’s Early Intervention Team. The North Somerset VRP facilitates, funds and/or supports various projects within their four key programme areas:

  1. Risk: Identifying and supporting those at risk of crime and/or violence.
  2. Interventions:
    Projects aimed at diverting people away from violence.
  3. Education:
    Providing awareness and training in relation to violence to communities, young people, and professionals.
  4. Community: Working to build community capacity and confidence.

As you may know, the North Somerset VRP were successful in their bid to bring The Knife Angel to Weston-Super-Mare for the month of May. This visit forms part of a nationwide tour of the angel, which aims to highlight the issue of violent crime.

Together with a range of partners and supporters, the North Somerset VRP have planned a month-long violent crime awareness themed programme, which includes educational workshops, community engagement days, art installations, and advice and information points. Below are a few examples of what’s on:

  • St Giles Trust are delivering an online Parent ‘County Lines’ Awareness session.
  • Artwork created by local young people is on display at the Sovereign Centre.
  • The Grand Pier has a dedicated space for people to tie a ribbon of remembrance.
  • Local Weston-Super-Mare businesses are taking part in the window trail.

North Somerset VRP competition artwork and metalwork project.

To find out more on the North Somerset VRP work and what’s on, click here.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank the North Somerset VRP and partners for their continued hard work to support and protect the residents of North Somerset and for delivering  such an informative month-long programme this month. Thank you.


Natalie Lavis

A&S Violence Reduction Partnership Director


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