GMColleges Violence Reduction and Knife Crime Project

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GMColleges Violence Reduction and Knife Crime Project

GMColleges has been working closely with the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (GMVRU) since it was set up in 2019. Using the public health approach piloted in Scotland, the GMVRU brings together specialists from health, police, local government, probation, community organisations, education and other relevant local agencies into a cohesive multi-agency team.

GMColleges has seconded a College Assistant Principal to be the education lead for the GMVRU. Now in its second year, this appointment has ensured that the importance of FE colleges in tackling this agenda is recognised.

In parallel to this, GMColleges has established a Safeguarding Group bringing together the safeguarding leads in all nine colleges to address issues of common concern and to work with the VRU and other organisations to coordinate effective communication, shared intelligence and align preventative safeguarding education. Key joint initiatives and achievements include:

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Knife Crime Protocol

A Knife Crime Protocol has been developed for Further Education and Pupil Referral Units. Individual colleges are sharing their expertise to help combat knife crime within Greater Manchester and beyond. Bolton College is working on a Knife Crime Awareness tutorial package to share across Greater Manchester.

Community Safety Partnerships

Working closely with the VRU and local police the GM Colleges are now represented on almost all of the local Community Safety Partnerships. Pro-active attendees are able to contribute agenda items and raise the profile of Further Education and its role in supporting young people in life skills development.

Violence reduction guidelines

Looking at how violence is viewed, prevented and managed at primary, secondary and tertiary stages of development. A document, currently under development, is being created to enable Further Education organisations to have a consistent approach and appropriate support from local community safety partners when dealing with students who are being exploited and may be involved in violent crime, to understand the legal requirements around this. This approach will enable the early identification of suitable interventions to disrupt current behaviour patterns and influence positive changes.

Knife Crime
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Student and Staff support project

Building on the work already being undertaken on the GMColleges Mental Health Project, a further project is being jointly commissioned by the NW AoC and GMVRU to support college students and staff with issues arising from the threat of violence.


Cyber fraud supported internship

A Cyber Fraud Supported Internship in partnership with the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU) supporting neuro-diverse young people to apply digital talent aligned to industry recruitment gaps. There is future potential to join forces with GMPLN to support apprenticeship progression routes.

Knife Crime

Dyslexia framework

GMVRU is working in partnership with the Dyslexia Institute UK to develop an education framework that will support GM dyslexia-friendly- education in schools and colleges. Through screening and personal profiling young people will have early specialist education and emotional interventions, improving attainment, reducing disengagement and exclusions and protecting young people from associated vulnerabilities that can lead to anti-social behaviours.

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GMVRU network event

A GMVRU Education Network event for colleges to be held in 2021, bringing together FE senior leaders and safeguarding leads/front line staff alongside Police/Youth Justice and Probation to share good practice. GMColleges commitment which is supported by VRU to help education organisations establish contact with their named neighbourhood police officer.

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Safer Search training for trainers

Courses will be run for college staff to help them to reduce the threat of knives gaining entry to colleges through search and confiscation. This will include strategies to reduce the threat, how to develop and deliver courses to colleagues and create draft processes and procedures.

Lisa O'Loughlin

Project Lead

Lisa O’Loughlin

The Manchester College

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