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Merseyside Youth Association

Violence reduction - setting the scene

Why is MVP so important?

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) released crime statistics for all police forces across the UK on April 23 2020:

  • Increase in crime across Merseyside (695 more offences in 2019)
  • 8.1% increase in violence in 2019 on Merseyside (3556 offences) with 387 offences involving injury
  • Operation Target in 2019 retrieved over 1100 knives and weapons
  • 51% rise in under 18s suffering assaults with a sharp object in the last four years (NHS)
  • 2.4% rise in sexual offences reported in Merseyside in 2019
  • In 2019, 290 young people under 25 were offenders of serious violence The most common offence was Sec.18 Wounding (44%) followed by the robbery of personal property (28%). The vast majority were male (90%)
  • 1 in 6 children have some form of diagnosable mental distress
  • Over 70% of young people are exposed to serious violence in real life at least once a month
  • 33% of young people know at least one person who carries a weapon and 7% know more than 10 people do
  • 16% young people reported feeling least safe in their own homes (Safer Lives Survey)
  • 40% of young people agree that it is easy to buy illegal drugs where they live

About the VRP

The Mentors in Violence Prevention programme is delivered by Merseyside Youth Association, and funded by the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP).

Merseyside’s Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) is one of 18 Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) established across England and Wales helping the government to deliver its Serious Violence Strategy, (published in 2018), in response to national increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide.

The VRP brings together Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, local government, National Probation Service and the county’s Youth Offending Service, health and education professionals, community leaders and other key partners.


Tony Niemen from MYA’s RAISE team, who delivers the project to Merseyside schools, and the VRP’s Education Lead, Roger Thompson explain the Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme.

Read more about Merseyside VRP here.