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Tackling violent crime lecture

Tackling serious violent crime and policing resources will be among the topics discussed at a public law lecture this week.

Image of police car behind police tape

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson OBE, will be the latest high-profile speaker to take to the rostrum for the popular Law in Practice series at Leeds Law School – part of Leeds Beckett University.

He will discuss some of the ways he has coordinated partners to help keep communities safe and engaged widely on addressing some of the root causes of crime.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said: “Serious violence blights some our communities and although the impact is often felt in our large cities, the problem also reaches further into our towns and rural areas. Any public health approach we take, needs to be adopted on a consistent basis locally, but also on a national level investing in preventative measures and early intervention wherever possible.

“Earlier this year, the Home Office announced funding to 18 PCC/police force areas to set up Violence Reduction Units (VRUs), including £3.37m here in West Yorkshire. Whilst this investment is welcome, reducing violence is a long-term challenge requiring sustained resources and partnership working over a number of years to make a lasting impact.

“Alongside the VRU, there are also many other projects running throughout the County in conjunction with key partners such as West Yorkshire Police, District Community Safety Partnerships, Youth Offending Teams and the Prison Service to deliver a programme of holistic prevention and early intervention projects. The main aim being to prevent serious violence working closely with our communities and the Third/Voluntary Sector in order to achieve successful outcomes.”

After a varied career in both public and private sectors, Mark was elected as the county’s first Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012 before being re-elected in 2016 for another four years.

During his talk, he will share his experience both locally within West Yorkshire and nationally as the recent Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), around harnessing support to tackle serious violent crime.

Mark will detail the challenges around identifying key issues, tackling causes and symptoms, as well as resource challenges, competing priorities and understanding what a ‘public health approach’ means.

Previous Law in Practice lectures have featured, amongst others, Sir Keir Starmer QC, Baroness Shami Chakrabarti and Catherine Dixon, former chief executive of the Law Society.

Deveral Capps, Dean of Leeds Law School, said: “Our Law in Practice series provides a great opportunity to network and hear from speakers from a range of backgrounds and contexts.

“We are delighted to welcome Mark to Leeds Law School to continue that tradition of providing insight into developments and key issues of relevance to the legal sector and professional practice.”

The Law in Practice series is open to legal professionals, students and those with an interest in the subject area.

Mark Burns-Williamson’s lecture, Working together to tackle serious violent crime, takes place between 18:00-19:00, Thursday 21 November, in Woodhouse Lecture Theatre 2, Portland Building, Portland Way, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, LS1 3ES.

Find further details or register for the lecture here.

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