Membership & Governance

The VRN is an open network and we welcome all communities and organisations who are already working to prevent violence or have an interest in doing so.  We will hold Network events to share knowledge, gain insights in violence from different perspectives and provide opportunities for joint problem-solving.

The VRN

Team

The VRN
Programme Board

Community
Panels

The VRN
Development Group

Meet the Team

The team is based at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner offices, Leicestershire Police Headquarters.  They have been established to co-ordinate and deliver the work required to fulfil the aims of the Network.

 
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GRACE STRONG

Strategic Director
Violence Reduction Unit

As Strategic Director, Grace is responsible for the overall leadership and strategic development of the VRN including the management of the central team.

Grace is seconded into this role from the local Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) which provides local probation services.  She started her career as a Probation Service Assistant 25 years ao and since then has worked in a variety of settings as a practitioner, practice development manager, team manager and senior leader within and beyond Leicestershire and Rutland.

Throughout her career she has worked operationally and strategically with a wide range of public, private and voluntary and community sector organisations and has led numerous partnership projects and intitiatives.

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SUMAYA BIHI

Project Development Officer

Sumaya has recently graduated with a Public Health Degree and has joined the VRN as Project Development Officer, supporting the Programme Manager and the rest of the team.

 

Alongside undertaking her degree, Sumaya also volunteered in the community by setting up a women’s coffee morning in St Matthews, Leicester and many more projects for young people and the elderly in her community. She was also part of the Youth Commission as a Youth Coordinator for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland.

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SUSANNE HOWES

Consultant in Public Health

As one of the Consultants in Public Health, Susanne has joint responsibility for providing public health expertise to the VRN in embedding a whole-system multi-agency approach to serious violence prevention. She also has joint responsibility in providing strategic direction and oversight for the development and delivery of a Strategic Needs Assessment, along with an accompanying strategy and response plan. She will also be working closely with the Directors of Public Health across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and drawing on the expertise of wider teams in developing the evidence-based approach to violence prevention.

Susanne is seconded into the from Public Health England, East Midlands where she is the public health specialist for Health and Justice. She trained as a nurse 25 years ago working in the field of learning disability and mental health before moving into public health communicable disease control and then into Health and Justice. In her substantive role she provides public health expertise to all relevant partners to understand and meet the health and social needs of people in contact with the criminal justice system, to address inequalities and reduce offending and reoffending.

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OLIVIA JONES

Programme Manager

As Programme Manager, Olivia will work closely with the VRN team to develop the projects the network will deliver, monitor progress and build an effective programme structure that will help the network to deliver its aim of tackling violence and addressing its root causes.

 

Olivia has been working in the public sector for the past 5 years on a range of different projects and programmes. She is committed to delivering high quality services and successful projects for both the organisations she works for and the communities they serve. In her previous role as a Project Development Officer in the Police & Crime Commissioners Office she has experience of working and developing projects with partners including voluntary and community sector organisations.

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IVAN LIBURD

Community Engagement Lead

Ivan's role in the VRN is to identify and build upon the community's existing strengths and to support communities to prevent violence in their geographical area.  Ivan will work in partnership with communities, both formal and informal, to help deliver improvements in and for the community which also supports and promotes opportunities for involvement and participation of those people most affected by violence.

Ivan has been involved in the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in different capacities since the age of 20, and has worked for large charities and volunteered for front-line community groups across various work streams such as Health and Public Health, Social Care, Young People, Community Development and Sport.

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DR. JASMINE MURPHY

Consultant in Public Health

As one of the Consultants in Public Health, Jasmine has joint responsibility for providing public health expertise to the VRN in embedding a whole-system multi-agency approach to serious violence prevention. She also has joint responsibility in providing strategic direction and oversight for the development and delivery of a Strategic Needs Assessment, along with an accompanying strategy and response plan. She will also be working closely with the Directors of Public Health across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and drawing on the expertise of wider teams in developing the evidence-based approach to violence prevention.

Jasmine is seconded into the VRN from Public Health England (East Midlands). She has extensive experience of working in the public sector including the NHS, local government and civil service. Through her focus on public health, she seeks to raise the profile and awareness of how strategic decisions can impact upon inequalities in the population.

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GURJIT SAMRA-RAI

Head of Service Design and Implementation

As Head of Service Design and Implementation Gurjit’s role in the VRN is to work with partners to develop existing services and co-design and commission new services aimed at preventing and reducing violence.  The VRN is committed to co-production and will draw on data and the evidence of effectiveness to ensure that services are relevant, responsive and effective.

Gurjit is seconded into the team from Leicestershire County Council.  She has over 20years of experience within the public sector, including front line delivery, policy writing and strategic planning. Her commitment to working collaboratively across all sectors, including statutory, voluntary and community has led to over £2 million coming into Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland from central government for projects to support the most vulnerable people.

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HAZELL SANDALL

Detective Inspector, Leicestershire Police

Detective Inspector Hazel Sandall has been seconded into the team from the Leicestershire Police.

 

Hazel has served as a police officer for over 20 years. She has experience in numerous uniform and detective positions within serious and volume crime, as well as forensic and safeguarding departments. Within these roles Hazel has worked with multiple partners across a range of sectors locally and nationally.

Programme
Board
 

The VRN's Programme Board provides the formal governance for the work of the VRN and receives reports from the VRN Team.  The Board is responsible for providing the leadership and strategic co-ordination of our local response to violence including the publication of a long-term plan.

The Programme Board reports to the Strategic Partnership Board which is chaired by the Police and Crime Commissioner and includes Chief Officers from all local public services.

Community
Panels

The work of the VRN and Programme Board will be informed by insights and solutions generated by panels held within different communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.  We are particularly interested in ensuring that those most affected by violence are empowered to participate in our work, including young people and their families.

 
Development
Group
 
Our
Partners
 

The VRN Development Group comprises of champions from different organisations who meed to identify and pursue opportunities to improve prevention work across the partnership.

The insights and recommendations generated by the Group are shared with the Programme Board and influence the VRN's work.  Champions also play a crucial role in promoting the work of the VRN and the violence prevention agenda within their parent organisation.

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