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Knife and other bladed crimes in Coventry have fallen by almost half compared to the same time last year.

It’s after a number of initiatives have been working to reduce crime in the city, including the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) programme.

Launched in May 2023, the £2 million project identifies children and young people who are most likely to be involved in violence and provides tailored support to help them develop positive routes away from it.

The programme provides the children and young people with 24/7 access to a team of professionals who can help them understand why they are committing crimes and support them to stop.

Research shows inequalities such as poverty, violence in the household and parents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to draw the child or young person into a violent lifestyle.

The CIRV programme provides them with intensive support, including help with housing issues, access to education, ill health, and debt.

The programme will operate until August 2025. It is funded by the Home Office and the Youth Endowment Fund.

Delivery of the programme is overseen by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership, a body responsible for preventing violence in the West Midlands, alongside West Midlands Police.

Simon Foster, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Seeing the rates of violence go down across Coventry is incredibly positive and evidence of the good work going on across the city.

“CIRV is one of many initiatives that are having a positive impact in our communities and keeping our young people safe.

“It illustrates how violence is not inevitable. With the right resources and support, we can prevent, tackle and reduce violence, protect people and save lives.”

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Bell from West Midlands Police, said: 

“It is exciting to see the benefits of partnership work paying dividends in Coventry. The CIRV programme builds on the excellent work of our local policing teams, coordinating specialist services in an integrated programme which goes further and acts faster than we have ever been able to do before.

“I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the evaluation, but a hugely promising start is evident.”

Jon Yates, Executive Director at the Youth Endowment Fund, said: 

“CIRV is built on a model with a track record of reducing violence across the world. It’s encouraging to see the programme take shape in Coventry. Local teams are working together to offer children and young people a positive alternative to getting involved in crime and violence. We look forward to learning more about its implementation and impact.”

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