Lancashire Violence Reduction Network News September 2021

Lancashire Violence Reduction Network News

September 2021

Welcome to our autumn newsletter. This time we have news of over £1million funding secured to support youth anti-violence interventions across the county in addition to the Trauma Informed Lancashire programme, a ministerial visit to Project ADDER in Blackpool, plans coming together for the Knife Angel visiting Lancashire and Mia's Story making it big in the media.

Read about the latest research projects we have collaborated on, covering county lines, child-parent domestic abuse in Lancashire, and the cost of violence to Lancashire.

Last but not least, hear about the Empowering Parents Empowering Communities programme extending into Burnley and see the fabulous feedback received so far from volunteer parent group leaders, plus find out about the latest Four Nations Webinar Series instalment - A Public Health Approach to Modern Slavery.

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


  1. Lancashire VRN update
  2. Research
  3. Project ADDER
  4. Youth and community engagement
  5. Trauma Informed Lancashire
  6. Lancashire Family Safeguarding
  7. Contact us

1. Lancashire Violence Reduction Network update

Over £1million funding boost for youth anti-violence interventions

We're delighted to have secured funding to steer young people away from violent crime and create a better understanding of childhood trauma within services.

The three initiatives, Trauma Informed Lancashire, DIVERT Youth, and ED Navigators have secured a combined £1,036,181 in funding.

Det Ch Supt Sue Clarke, head of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network commented:

“The funding is really good news as it is enabling us to both continue and extend the important work being done to support young people into positive life choices. Young people arriving in emergency departments and who have come into contact with the police are more able to access specialist non-judgemental support to help get their lives back on track.
“In over 30 years as a police officer I have seen the impact that childhood trauma can have on people’s lives. Listening to people who have come into contact with services and to professionals working in services, it’s clear that this training can make a positive difference to people’s lives in the short as well as long term. There has been real demand for professionals to be educated in trauma informed approaches and we’re delighted to be enabling this to happen.”

2. Research

Demonstrating the costs of violence to the healthcare system

Violence places a heavy burden on health and social prospects across the life course. To better understand the scale of ‘the problem’, LVRN, in partnership with Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, developed a costing tool of violence to the healthcare system to inform interventions to prevent and reduce violence.

Although this figure is likely an underestimate of the full costs associated with acute violence-related injuries, the tool calculated that: Violence cost Lancashire's healthcare system £23.1 million (year ending March 2020).

Interpersonal violence

  • £17.9 million - Ambulance call outs, attendances at Minor Injury Centres, Walk in Centres, Urgent Care Centre and ED, emergency hospital admissions, treatment
  • £0.59 million - Ambulance call outs
  • £0.07 million - Minor Injury Centre / Walk in Centre / Urgent Care Centre attendances
  • £0.64 million - Emergency department attendances
  • £2.7 million - Emergency hospital admissions
  • £0.58 million - Treatment for physical injuries
  • £11.9 million - Counselling for depression and anxiety
  • £1.4 million - Follow-up in primary care

Self-directed violence

  • £5.1 million - Emergency department attendances, emergency hospital admissions, treatment
  • Report produced by Lisa Jones, Reader in Public Health, Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University.

County Lines: Breaking the Cycle

We are collaborating with Crest Advisory for a new county lines research project which launched in July this year.

Key stakeholders from across pan-Lancashire met in July and contributed to a national partner roundtable to discuss the issues they face when dealing with young people involved in county lines and share examples of good practice, The group recorded their key learnings for wider sharing: County Lines: what we learnt from local partners.

This project builds on the 2020 Crest ground-breaking research into the exploitation of looked-after children within county lines, widening the focus to all young people involved in county drug lines, addressing the most significant challenges facing police forces and their local authority partners.

There is growing consensus that vulnerabilities are contributing to young people being groomed, exploited and coerced into criminal activity. Crest, July 2021

The research will:

  1. examine how young people involved in county lines are identified as victims, groomers, or willing participants;
  2. consider the outcomes for young people over time and how outcomes are shaped by the safeguarding responses they receive from statutory agencies.
Police forces and their partners viewing victims and offenders as binary opposition contributes to vulnerable young people missing out on support and possibly causing wider harm. Crest, July 2021.

Understanding child-to-parent domestic abuse in Lancashire

While domestic abuse is internally recognised as a serious problem for public health and criminal justice, little is known about those involved in child-to-parent domestic abuse, particularly where older children are involved.

To bridge this gap, we have partnered with UCLan and Lancashire Constabulary to make a significant first step in understanding child-to-parent perpetrator risk and need in family abuse cases.

There are five key findings:

  1. 10.7% of domestic abuse cases in Lancashire were child-to-parent
  2. Three quarters of the perpetrators were male, with an average age of 27 years old
  3. A quarter had been previously investigated for domestic abuse outside of the sample period
  4. A quarter of the sample had also been victim to domestic abuse outside of the sample period
  5. Intimidating and coercive perpetrators were almost half of these cases

How can this inform future practice?

The distinct features, risks and needs of child-to-parent domestic abuse suggests that assessment and intervention approaches need to be developed specifically for this group. Almost half of all child-to-parent domestic abuse results in serious violence and more needs to be done to understand the risk of serious violence so that effective interventions can take place.

3. Project ADDER

Policing minister Kit Malthouse visits Blackpool

Nicola Plumb (Empowerment), Steven Brown (Empowerment), Kit Malthouse, DCS Sue Clarke, Insp Dave Callan, Judith Mills (Blackpool Council) and PCC Andrew Snowden.

Together with the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner and Blackpool Council we welcomed the policing minister to Blackpool to find out about the proactive work being done to tackle drugs misuse.

Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, visited on Monday 23rd August and met with Lancashire Violence Reduction Network head, Det Ch Superintendent Sue Clarke, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden, and Judith Mills from Blackpool Council to hear about the £4.95 million Project ADDER pilot to dismantle supply chains and support people who misuse drugs into recovery.

Project ADDER logo

The minister met with representatives from the Project ADDER police enforcement team, lived experience team, and public health team and discussed how the project has developed since it's launch in January this year.

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.

4. Youth and community engagement

Knife Angel Lancashire

Coming soon... Knife Angel will be in Lancashire in November

Preparations for the Knife Angel coming to Lancashire are fully underway. The sculpture is made from 100,000 seized, blunted knives and will be on display outside Blackburn Cathedral from 4th - 30th November. The aim is to encourage schools, colleges, community groups, families and individuals to visit the sculpture and take the opportunity for reflection and learning.

Bringing the Knife Angel to Lancashire is a partnership between Lancashire PCC, Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, Blackburn Cathedral and Blackburn with Darwen Council.

In addition to being able to come and see the Knife Angel there are also opportunities for more structured involvement:

  • Civic reception for invited guests followed by open vigil for everyone who wishes to attend
  • School and community group visits (with rooms available for self-guided sessions or book a session with a member of our education team)
  • Meet with suppliers to find out what educational resources on knife crime are available for use in schools and community groups at the educational showcase event
  • Sign up to be a youth anti-violence ambassador
  • Enter the national Knife Angel photography competition

Follow the Knife Angel Lancashire on Facebook for updates as the dates draw nearer. Coming soon will also be a website with supporting information and resources.

Empowering Parents Empowering Communities programme

In our last newsletter we shared that 3 parent group leaders had been trained in Blackburn with Darwen and had started delivering the EPEC ‘Being a Parent’ courses in communities.

Run by parents and supported by professionals, the programme offers parent volunteers and parents the opportunity to share experiences and support others in the community.

A newly trained team of 5 volunteers will soon be providing additional support to parents as the programme extends into Burnley. These were all trained virtually and are now parent group leaders who are ready to start delivering sessions to help other parents develop their skills and give their children the best start in life.

Gabbi Lister, Volunteer Parent Group Leader said, “The course has been a real eye opener, it has helped me develop skills and strategies that I am really embracing.”

Rachael Whittaker, Volunteer Parent Group Leader said, “Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share our experiences to help other parents in the community – I can’t wait to start getting stuck in with delivering the course.”

EPEC has been running for over 15 years, training hundreds of volunteer parent group leaders in more than 25 areas across the United Kingdom.

Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Clarke, Head of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network said,

“As Head of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network I am absolutely delighted to hear of the training of these parent leaders for Burnley. This group will be a real asset to the community. EPEC is well evidenced to help parents to be better equipped to give their children the best start in life. This is part of the wider approach to improving resilience in our communities across Lancashire.”

The next phases of the exciting Burnley EPEC Programme will begin towards the end of September when the ‘Being a Parent’ courses start along with a further round of volunteer Parent Group Leader training.

5. Trauma Informed Lancashire

More places released for trauma informed approaches training

We're delighted that there has been a good deal of demand for our trauma informed approaches workshops. Now that pandemic restrictions have eased we have been able to increase capacity at venues to enable even more professionals to access this learning.

There are two workshops available:

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

The workshops aim to cultivate collective, cross-sector learning to support the ongoing development of trauma informed services.

You might have noticed the new Trauma Informed Lancashire logo above. We felt this needed to be distinct from LVRN and with this in mind over the coming months we will be developing a website to support the initiative. In the interim there is a project page on the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network with information on Trauma Informed Lancashire and links to book training.

Mia's Story hits the press

Mia's Story, a children's picture book which aims to help youngsters to cope when a parent goes to prison, was launched to the media last month. We were delighted that the story was picked up regionally by both BBC North West Tonight and Granada Reports in addition to local media outlets, with the coverage highlighting the unique challenges faced by children and families in this situation. The story is based on experiences of young Lancashire girl 'Mia', who bravely agreed to being interviewed to help write the book and also to share her story through the media in hope that it would help others in a similar situation.

The book accompanies training for professionals which took place earlier this year on addressing the needs of children with a parent in prison in a trauma informed way. More training is being planned so be sure to watch this space for more information.

Most schools now have at least one copy of a book and plans are being made to make it more widely available to schools and those working with children so that it will be easy to order copies as required.

Four nations webinar series: A public health approach to modern slavery

Following the success of the Four Nations webinar series on public health approaches in policing, delegates were asked what content would be useful in their day-to-day work at a strategic and operational level. The feedback identified a need for a focus on how a public health approach can be adopted in specific policing areas.

We are pleased to announce the next in a series of webinars “A Public Health Approach to Modern Slavery” will be held on Thursday 14th October 14:00 – 15:30.

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for modern slavery will open this webinar. The webinar will explore a public health approach to modern slavery and share practice examples. There will be opportunities for a question-and-answer session at the end of the webinar.

Our speakers include:

  • Dr Liz Such (NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Fellow in Public Health)
  • Joanne Hopkins (Programme Director, ACES, Criminal Justice and Violence Prevention, Public Health Wales)
  • Filippo Capaldi (Detective Superintendent, Police Scotland)

The webinar is free to attend and aimed at law enforcement and public health practitioners, policy makers and researchers from public health teams, response policing professionals and leaders, violence reduction units, multi-agency system leaders, future/horizon scanners and early intervention/prevention specialists.

Webinar: A public health approach to modern slavery.

Thursday 14th October, 14:00 – 15:30

6. A message from Lancashire Children's Services

We at Lancashire Children's Services are excited about progress being made to transform the way we work with families. To keep up to date, please subscribe to our mailing list to receive regular updates straight into your mailbox.

In our latest issue (August 2021) we talked about:

  • Developing our Family Safeguarding Mental Health Provision.
  • How to access our Working Well with Children and Families in Lancashire guidance and updated information on the Continuum of Need.
  • The timeline for implementing the new Early Help Assessment and Plan and how to access training in relation to this.
  • An exclusive update on plans to redesign Lancashire's Front Door (MASH).
  • Upcoming training and events that will be open to all of our multiagency partners (booking information to follow).

7. Contact us

Lancashire Violence Reduction Network

County Hall, Fishergate, Preston PR1 8XB

+44 (0) 1772 537026



Twitter: @LancsVRN