Concerned about a child or young person? Call 0345 603 7627

The new Violence and Vulnerability Unit: Update from James Pearson and DI Jim White.

Last updated by Chelsey Reynolds on Tuesday, July 9, 2019


The Violence and Vulnerability Unit (VVU) has been set up across Southend, Essex and Thurrock to deliver on the objectives set out in the Safer Essex, ‘Violence and Vulnerability Framework’ which was put together after multi-agency consultation by the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.  We are a small unit who’s key aims are to be able to influence decision making and add value to current operations. 


Key targets of the Violence and Vulnerability framework, which we are tasked with influencing:


  • improve visibility and awareness of partnership activity around violence and vulnerability

  • increase the occurrence and effectiveness of prevention and intervention activities

  • to identify opportunities to add value to existing and planned activities

  • to identify gaps in current and planned activities

  • to highlight areas where cross-border and partnership working would be beneficial


Although Violence and Vulnerability is an extremely broad area, the unit (2 members presently with a third joining shortly) have initially been directed towards the linked issues of county lines, urban street gangs and knife crime; all very high on the political agenda at present.


Initial activity has focussed around:


  • Benchmarking Essex’ current processes and practises in respect of the consideration and treatment of victims of violence and vulnerability specifically as it relates to county lines and gangs

  • Making contact with, and visiting other organisations including the National Co-Ordination Centre for County Lines (NSY), Trident, Serious Violence Strategy Unit (Home Office), Serious Violence Task Force (Metpol - Lambeth), other VVUs in the Country, Charities and Trusts – providers of diversionary schemes

  • Ensuring the VVU is a key contact for other organisations in the arena of Violence and Vulnerability work

  • Gathering current national best practise and thinking in terms of Violence and Vulnerability

  • Establishing work streams / themes for the unit to work towards

  • Attending conferences and meetings and promoting the existence and work of the VVU within professional circles

  • Contributing to Essex Police County Lines Pursue Board

  • Adding value to local operations, including Op Sceptre knife crime operation


It is hoped that by focussing solely on the Violence and Vulnerability agenda, and promulgating best practise from around the country the VVU can challenge some mind-sets and current processes and weave the themes into everything partner organisations in Essex undertake.