Bedfordshire's Violence and Exploitaiton Reduction Unit Just Drop It

Just Drop It

Bedfordshire’s New Anti-Knife Crime Campaign.

Roseann Taylor has been the inspiration behind the Just Drop It campaign. Her son Azaan was tragically stabbed to death in Luton in 2018. He was just 18 years old.

Roseann now works for us at the Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit. She doesn’t want any family or young person to suffer like she has. We are sharing AJ’s story so people will Think Twice. Think Life. And Just Drop It.

BEDFORDSHIRE VIOLENCE & EXPLOITATION REDUCTION

Reducing Violence &
Exploitation, Together

Our aim is to identify those at risk of violence and exploitation, so we can prevent harm, empower them to make better choices, amplify the needs of the community and forge a better future for our young people.

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who we are

Bedfordshire Violence and
Exploitation Reduction Unit

We are Bedfordshire’s Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU). Established in 2019, through government funding, we are one of 22 specialist units across the UK and the only unit to place an emphasis on the link between violence and exploitation.

A network of different agencies and groups aiming to tackle the root causes of societal issues that affect young people, we work with partners to prevent our young and vulnerable people from being pulled into criminality, violence and exploitation.

Our team is made up of specialist professionals able to provide informed support and advice to help young people and families to better understand the risks and signs of exploitation and criminality, navigate challenging circumstances and make positive contributions to the wider community.

WHAT WE DO

Our aim is to reduce violence across Bedfordshire while tackling the exploitation of young and vulnerable people

Prevent

True to our purpose, reducing violence and exploitation means preventing it – and we believe this possible.

It means intervening at the earliest opportunity to ensure that young and vulnerable people, families and communities do not experience the devastating effects of violent and organised crime.

Whilst many people thankfully survive their experience of violence and/or exploitation, the impact that it has on their physical and mental health and wellbeing can be long lasting and severe.

Through partnership working and the unique offering of our Youth Intervention Specialist (YIS) Team, we offer tailored, proactive and holistic support to young people at risk of being influenced and pulled into criminal gang activity.

Walk Away, Think Twice, Think Life, Just Drop It

Empower

To empower our young people is to provide them with the tools, knowledge and confidence to make sound and positive choices about their own lives.

By sharing lived experiences and removing the lid on the very real consequences of a life of crime, we implore young people to see the truth behind what is often a highly glamorised lifestyle.

As well as focusing on our young people, our aim is to empower our local community to be part of the solution. Through accessible funding for grassroots projects, we work with the community to improve and increase their service offering and reach.

Young people eductation

Amplify

Using our position, platform and influence, we seek to amplify to the needs of our community.

From local authorities to governing bodies, we work to bridge the gap between services and those in need of support.

The solution to reducing violence and exploitation can be found in the voices of those it affects the most. Our VERU Youth Voices forum give young people the opportunity to address societal matters and develop a response that benefits not only Bedfordshire but communities across the country.

Young people education

Just Drop It reaches 5,000 Bedfordshire students

More than 5,000 students across 15 schools in Bedfordshire have received assemblies around the devastating impact of knife crime as part of the county’s anti-knife crime campaign ‘Just Drop It’.

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Here you’ll find our latest developments, initiatives, and success stories in our bid to tackle violence and exploitation.

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VERU in View

VERU in View is our monthly newsletter where we share our latest projects, activities and accomplishments.

Annual report

2023

VERU in View

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