Lancashire Violence Reduction Network News July 2021

Lancashire Violence Reduction Network News

July 2021

Welcome to our summer newsletter.

It’s been a busy few months with projects continuing to develop and the pandemic keeping us on our toes.

Since our last newsletter we have made a video describing the important work being done by the Project ADDER lived experience team; had a successful Op Sceptre week of intense police action against knife crime which featured on BBC North West Tonight; and launched the Little Book of Violence Prevention, which you can access on our website.

We continue to deliver our Trauma Informed Approaches and Practice course to support Trauma Informed Lancashire and have announced training days for August - November 2021, see below for further information and to book your place.

We hope you find the newsletter informative. Feel free to share far and wide with your colleagues.


  1. Lancashire VRN update
  2. Project ADDER
  3. Youth and community engagement
  4. Trauma Informed Lancashire
  6. Knife and violent crime enforcement
  7. Contact us

1. Lancashire Violence Reduction Network update

Little Book of Violence Prevention

A new publication is available on the LVRN website, titled: ‘The Little Book of Violence Prevention’.

We have worked with a range of multi-agency partners to publish the book, which forms part of a series. (Have you seen its sister, The Little Book of ACEs?)

As the title suggests, this little book is about preventing violence. In response to an evolving understanding of the causes, incidence, and manifestation of violence withing communities, we advocate for a consistent commitment to seeing the whole person with whom we are working not as a ‘service user’ or as a ‘client’, but as a fellow human being.

The book is available to download from the resources section of our website.

2. Project ADDER

The Blackpool Project ADDER pilot launched in January this year and sees police, council, and health services working together in partnership to address the root causes of drugs misuse and break down supply chains.

ADDER stands for Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery and focuses on co-ordinated law enforcement activity together with expanded diversionary programmes and treatment and recover services.

Blackpool is one of 5 pilot locations being run across England and Wales over a 3-year period.

Hear from the lived experience team in the video below.

3. Youth and community engagement

Knife Angel Lancashire

Knife Angel coming to Lancashire

The Knife Angel, a huge statue made from 100,000 seized knives, will be on display in Lancashire throughout November 2021. The sculpture, created by the British Ironworks Centre to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour, will be hosted outside Blackburn Cathedral with a schedule of activity set to take place between the 4th and 29th of November.

Blackburn Cathedral, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network and Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden have been working with partners from across Lancashire to bring the Knife Angel to Lancashire and to ensure that the project will benefit the whole of the county.

A civic opening ceremony, a serious violence conference and a pupils' conference will form part of the activities planned for the Knife Angel's month long visit and a full calendar of events and activities will now be created to ensure that residents and professionals from across Lancashire will have the opportunity to get involved.

Det Ch Supt Sue Clarke, Head of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network said:

"While we are thankful that knife crime isn't as big a problem in Lancashire as it is in other areas of the country, it is really important that we create opportunities to highlight the issue and what we can do to prevent it.
"Hosting the Knife Angel will create great opportunities to raise awareness, to work together with communities and to help unite professionals in joined up work to tackle knife crime in our county."

The visit has been positively received by members of the public with the announcement making 313k impressions, 708 retweets/shares, and 1,600 likes on Lancashire Constabulary social media channels.

Empowering Parents Empowering Communities programme

EPEC (Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities) is an innovative, evidenced based and effective intervention for parenting and early childhood difficulties.

It is unique. It recruits, trains and supports local parents to lead parenting groups in their own communities.

These parenting groups are known as ‘Being a Parent’ and are co-facilitated by two trained parents who have completed the Parent Group Leader training, supported by a specialist EPEC supervisor.

In Blackburn with Darwen, throughout the pandemic we have successfully trained 3 PGL (Parent Group Leaders - 1 father and 2 mothers) , in a COVID-19 safe environment. The PGLS are now in the process of running the Being a Parent courses.

On asking the PGLs how they felt following the training comments received included: positive, open minded , wide range of experience to share & ready to go!

Goal setting for the course from the 3 current PGLs included:

  • Empower parents and become familiar with course content and comfortable with co leaders.
  • Make parents aware that a perfect parent does not exist, believe in himself or herself. Familiar with course content and comfortable with co leader.
  • Become confident in delivery and satisfied I can support other parents.

The PGLs have worked so hard to become accredited group leaders . Their passion and commitment shines though, and I am looking forward to watch this new way of working develop. The Being a Parent courses are going well and I look forward to sharing with you more around this in the future.

4. Trauma Informed Lancashire

Trauma Informed Lancashire workshops announced

A series of workshops supporting Trauma Informed Lancashire have been announced. There are two workshops:

  • Multi-agency partnership leaders and managers workshop
  • Multi-agency practitioners ‘Train the Trainer’ workshop

The ‘Becoming a Trauma Informed Lancashire’ workshops aim to cultivate collective, cross-sector learning to support the ongoing development of trauma informed services.

Organisations across the county continue to build on their trauma informed practice

In April we delivered our Trauma Informed Approaches and Practice course to the Lancashire DIVERT teams.

The DIVERT teams have engaged with workshops exploring brain science and the impact that trauma has on the body as a whole, alongside exploring how we can use such knowledge in our day-to-day practice to support the people of our communities.

Lancashire Children's Social Care Social Work Academy have embedded Trauma Informed Approaches and Practice within their induction programme and Lancashire Constabulary continue to engage with students across the workforce. Both organisations are working to ensure that new recruits and practitioners can engage with our communities with empathy, compassion and understanding from the very start.

Work continues with the Probation Service, NHS, Lancashire Children Social Care, Blackburn with Darwen adolescent teams, and the Public Health Service. This work focuses on how all organisations can come together and achieve the collective goal of becoming a Trauma Informed Lancashire.

LVRN's Trauma Informed Approach and Train the Trainer workshops will begin to roll out for the multi agency footprint over the summer and autumn of 2021. We are exploring workshop delivery options to maximise the sharing of knowledge and practice and of course the lived experience voice and how that voice must influence and shape our practice, policy, and procedures.

The LVRN's Trauma Informed Approaches workshops and resources are also gaining the attention of organisations across England with organisations from the south and the Midlands requesting insight into the development and delivery of our workshops and wishing to use our approaches within their own organisations and Authorities.

Finally, we would encourage any service, organisation or agency that works alongside the children, adults and communities of Lancashire to take a look at our website resource page . Here you will find a range of resources including the Organisational Development Framework - this free resource offers all services, agencies and organisations the opportunity to review their own understanding of trauma informed approaches and practice and identify both strengths and needs in regards to becoming a trauma informed service.


Breaking the circuit of reoffending

Since we brought the DIVERT police custody intervention programme to Lancashire 18 months ago, we have had our fair share of challenges.

Fewer arrests have been made and the police custody suites have even had to close at times, making it difficult for our team of DIVERT intervention coaches to seek out new clients.

These challenges sparked us to think outside the box. We looked at other ways to support young adults across the county who have offending history. And so, we turned to the local prisons.

We initially contacted HMP Lancaster Farms, speaking to a probation officer from the Offender Management Unit about 18-25 year olds being released into Lancashire over the following 3 months. We hoped to support these individuals in the same way as those coming through police custody. Through this engagement we wanted to help to break the circuit and stop future reoffending.

Pandemic restrictions led us to holding our initial consultations with potential clients virtually. Of these, one person engaged with the Blackpool custody intervention coach after their release. They have taken part in boxing sessions facilitated by the football club and been supported with temporary accommodation.

We were pleased to be able to hold the next round of consultations face-to-face. Two of these people have engaged with the Morecambe custody intervention coach and have been supported into education and employment.

We are holding the same conversations with HMYOI Wetherby and HMP Preston to see how we can support young adults under the age of 25 back into the community.

The work our team of DIVERT intervention coaches has done with local prisons across Lancashire has proved that a consistent and reliable support network can be the key link for people being released back into the community.

We feel that having a new face and someone who can support individuals on a one-to-one basis is important for their well-being and confidence, leading them to make positive changes in their lives.

6. Knife and violent crime enforcement

300 knives taken off Lancashire’s streets during police anti-knife crime week

Lancashire Violence Reduction Network together with Lancashire Constabulary joined police forces nationally on the Operation Sceptre week of intense police action against knife crime which ran from April 26th to May 2nd.

During the campaign police across the country increased pro-active work to prevent knife and violent crime through a range of initiatives yielding positive results.

We are pleased to report that 300 knives were taken off Lancashire’s streets in total during Operation Sceptre week. Police officers made 72 arrests as a result of the operation, during which 8 knives were seized. 26 public spaces were searched for weapons with help from police cadets and anti-knife crime campaigner Byron Highton of JJ Effect CIC, resulting in four knives being recovered.

A series of school visits from police officers and anti-knife crime campaigner Byron Highton saw 400 young people learning about the risks and dangers of knives in a bid to discourage young people from becoming involved in knife crime. We also secured a spot on BBC Northwest Tonight where Inspector Dave Oldfield and Byron Highton spoke together about action being taken to prevent knife crime.

Inspector Dave Oldfield of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, which co-ordinated activity, said:

"We have had a huge push on knife crime prevention during Op Sceptre week, supported by working with Byron Highton of JJ Effect CIC. By working with younger people to encourage them away from knives and working longer term together with partner organisations to address the root causes of knife crime we can develop safer communities for now and the future."

The next Op Sceptre police week of action against knife crime is scheduled to take place 8th-14th November 2021.

Some of the activity that took place during Operation Sceptre week: Weapon sweep, school visit, walk-through metal detecting knife arch.

7. Contact us

Lancashire Violence Reduction Network

County Hall, Fishergate, Preston PR1 8XB

+44 (0) 1772 537026



Twitter: @LancsVRN