Evidence mounts on Glasgow's Violence Reduction Unit

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Susan McVie, Ellie Bates and Rebecca Pillinger recently published their research findings on violence reduction in Glasgow and London on the LSE blog.

The findings support our own research, presented in Young people, violence and knives, a briefing we published in November examining knife violence trends and reduction efforts in Glasgow. 

Glasgow's Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) was established in 2005 to provide a public health approach to violence reduction and has been credited for the significant decline in serious violence. 

Yet, our analysis and McVie, Bates and Pillingers' article both agree that:

  • Systematic recording and analysis of long term trends in knife crime doesn't exist
  • The impact of Glasgow's VRU hasn't been measured satisfactorily 
  • Launching a VRU in London, based on the unevidenced claims of dramatic violence reduction in Glasgow, may not provide the solutions to knife violence we are seeking.