Letters:  Aim was to create a long-term change in society rather than a quick fix

As the mother of a teenage boy, l was glad to read Paul Blomfield in the Telegraph on knife crime last week talking about learning from other places.

As the mother of a teenage boy, l was glad to read Paul Blomfield in the Telegraph on knife crime last week talking about learning from other places. At a time of fewer resources, finding ideas & solutions that are already working can only help

In 2005, in response to rising knife crime, Glasgow set up the Violence Reduction Unit to target all forms of violent behaviour, in particular knife crime and weapon carrying among young men in and around Glasgow.

The VRU became the only police force in the world to adopt a public health approach to violence. Treating violence like a disease it sought to diagnose the problem, analyse the causes, examine what works (looking around the globe for this) and develop solutions.

To achieve this the unit teamed up with agencies in the fields of health, education and social work. The aim was to create a long-term change in society rather than a quick fix. But it has also focused on enforcement, working to contain and manage individuals who carry weapons or who are involved in violent behaviour.

They have been so successful that others have adopted their approach, most recently the Metropolitan police  in London.

In Sheffield we already have all the agencies working together through the Safer & Sustainable Communities Committee. I hope members of this committee will visit Glasgow to find out more about how we can apply their techniques to our city & improve the work to reduce knife crime in Sheffield for the long term.

Sioned-Mair Richards 

18 Lyons St 

S4 7QS