Funding for crime-fighting youth workers at Dudley's Russells Hall

Youth workers will be appointed in Dudley’s Russells Hall Hospital A&E unit in a bid to tackle violent crime.

DUDLEY NEWS EXPRESS & STAR ( JOHN SAMBROOKS ) 14/02/2019..GV's of Russells Hall Hospital, High Street, Pensnett, Dudley. For stock pictures................................................................................................................................................................  .............................
DUDLEY NEWS EXPRESS & STAR ( JOHN SAMBROOKS ) 14/02/2019..GV's of Russells Hall Hospital, High Street, Pensnett, Dudley. For stock pictures................................................................................................................................................................ .............................

The scheme funded by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit will offer support to under 25s who are caught up in serious youth violence or affected by sexual violence or abuse.

There will be three youth workers based in the accident and emergency department until March. They will give young people referred to them an opportunity to talk and to address any underlying issues negatively affecting their lives.

The money has been allocated by the Home Office as part of a £3.37million package tackle the root causes of violent behaviour in communities across the region.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster said: “I’m delighted the Violence Reduction Unit has expanded this A&E programme to Dudley.

“The work St Giles do is fantastic and is all about the prevention of violence, safeguarding young people and saving lives.

“We know we can’t arrest our way out of the problem of violence and the Violence Reduction Unit has been tasked with tackling the root causes before it’s too late or worsens further still.”

The initiative launched in partnership with youth service St Giles Trust will work via medical staff alerting the youth workers if they believe they have identified someone who is caught up in a cycle of violence or exploitation either as a victim or an offender.

Steve Clarke, of St Giles Trust said: “It is well documented that violence amongst young people is a serious issue and an issue we need to tackle.

“Through the support of the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit we have been able to expand our service into Dudley’s A&E department.

“This will give us an opportunity to engage with those individuals in their hour of need and our youth workers will be on hand to offer tailored support to lead them away from the violence that caused them to end up in hospital in the first place.”

A team of youth workers is also based at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital.

Others are working in units at Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands and the Children’s hospitals, in Birmingham and in Coventry.

The Violence Reduction Unit was launched two years ago with a public health approach to tackling youth crime.

In its first year its initiatives helped more than 100,000 young people, more than half of whom were identified as being at high risk of becoming involved in crime.

They also helped bring police, education leaders, health workers and local government together to share information about the causes of violence and set up a plan of action to tackle it.

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