Sharing the latest Violence and Vulnerability Unit Newsletter including;

  • Community Safety Expo 2024
  • Knife crime creative writing winner
  • Help shape the future of domestic abuse services in Essex


Community Safety Expo 2024

Partnership work leads to success in getting crime down. That was the key message from the PFCC Essex’s Community Safety Expo 24 held last week at Boreham House near Chelmsford.
The Expo was attended by more than 250 representatives of community safety partners, including Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, the Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU), charities, community groups and council partners.
The VVU had both a presence at the Expo and a speaking slot where we presented to delegates the work we have been doing to support communities and young people and the impact it has had on helping drive down crime in our county.
We presented our latest film Fearless Futures which tells how a life can turn around with the right support and interventions. We worked with spoken word artist Quentin Green on the film and using case studies from young people we support he bought to life the journey young people go on to make a positive “fearless” future.
In the Expo we had a graffiti wall in which delegates could write their thoughts about what prevents serious violence within our communities. There was the chance to learn more about our work, view our films and also speak with one of the projects we support – the Wilderness Foundation – on how they use education and nature based therapy to support children, young people and their families.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, told the Expo: “Partnership working is key to our approach – our approach has always been to achieve results with organisations and agencies working with each other.

“We are going to do more of what works. Our success shows we know the things that work and we are going to more of them.”

In his closing speech Mr Hirst underlined the successes achieved since 2016 by all the organisations present at the event – anti-social behaviour down by 71%, homicide down 55% and a 70% reduction in drug related knife homicide.

The very latest year-on-year figures to the end of January 2024 show all incidents of anti-social behaviour in Essex down 38.5% with all crime down by 5.9%.


Knife crime creative writing winner

We were delighted to be able to visit the Stanway School in Colchester last week to award our creative writing competition winner her prize.

Rebecca, a YR 8 pupil, entered our competition back in October to write a piece of creative writing on the subject of knife harm. The competition was held in partnership with Essex Libraries and was open to pupils attending schools within the Colchester area. The competition coincided with the Knife Angel’s visit to the city.

Her essay ‘Knife Crime Story’ told of a young girl in prison due to committing an offence. The judges were very impressed with Rebecca’s style and creativity.

Rebecca won a cash prize for herself and for her school to invest in resources for their pupils.

Jane Gardner, Deputy PFCC for Essex presented Rebecca with a certificate.


Help shape the future of domestic abuse services in Essex

Agencies across Essex are keen to learn from personal experiences how to improve domestic abuse services within greater Essex.
Southend-on-Sea City Council, Essex County Council, Thurrock Council, the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner and commissioning partners are inviting individuals affected by domestic abuse to share their invaluable insights as ‘experts by experience’.
Lived experience and the knowledge of those affected by domestic abuse is crucial in shaping the future of domestic abuse support services across Essex.
We want to ensure that the perspectives of individuals play a central role in the development of effective and compassionate support services and as a starting point SETDAB (Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board) has created a survey to gather opinion and insight.
The Violence and Vulnerability works closely with SETDAB to understand how our work can complement and add value to prevention services for young people across Southend, Essex and Thurrock.
Your input can make a profound impact, fostering positive change and helping us create a safer and more supportive environment for everyone.
The survey can be found at: DA Lived Experience Survey – Essex County Council – Citizen Space The survey closes on 21 March 2024.


If you would like to find out more about any of the items in this newsletter please get in touch    Visit our website or follow us on Twitter @EssexVVU Instagram: @EssexVVU or Facebook: Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit