On 26th April 2019 the APPG and our members visited the West Midlands to host a knife crime summit, alongside the West Midlands Violence Prevention Alliance. We had a tour of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, including a welcome from Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Trust, and overview of UHB’s involvement in the West Midlands Violence Prevention Alliance.
We heard from John Poyton, CEO of Redthread, on Redthread’s Youth Violence Intervention Programme in Queen Elizabeth and Heartlands Hospitals, followed by a Q&A with a young person who has benefitted from the service. We met Redthread youth workers and took part in a ‘Patients Journey’ walking tour through the Emergency Department.
The group then travelled to the Birmingham Police Headquarters where we met and talked to families affected by knife crime, followed by a West Midlands Violence Prevention Alliance Round table, led by Alliance co-Chairs Dr Sue Ibbotson (Director, PHE West Midlands) and ACC Sarah Boycott (West Midlands Police).
We discussed the work of the West Midlands Violence Prevention Alliance and their understanding of the public health approach. We met with some of the projects involved including the Mentors in Violence Prevention on their work in schools, and IRIS on their work on domestic violence in primary care.
Finally, we heard from Rev Dr Carver Anderson, author of the Commission on Gangs and Violence Report, on the work of the Gangs and Violence Commission, leading the community level response to violence. We also met with representatives from some of the projects.