Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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VERU Funding 2020 - 2021

The Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) grant funding is now open.

Main VERU Fund

Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, is opening up her second fund for community projects aimed at tackling gang crime and knife carrying, after the Home Office agreed pay for the county’s Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) once more.

The VERU, which is run by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, has attracted government funding of £880,000 once more, has identified a number of key projects which different groups and services can bid to deliver. They are:

  • Work with expectant mothers and fathers to build parenting skills
  • Projects with ex-offenders to help them break the pattern of gang membership and violence
  • Intervention in hospital and afterwards to help prevent today’s victims becoming tomorrow’s perpetrators of violence
  • Providing plans and one to one follow up support for young people in custody when they have been exposed to violence to divert them from future crime
  •  Schemes which provide the protection young people need within close relationships. The VERU will welcome bids from the community which address adverse childhood experiences, such as improved health schemes and ensuring healthy mentoring relationships and which can provide role models of similar ages       
  • Projects which can help protect young people and prevent violence from happening. This particularly includes bids from the community for physical locations such as community spaces that young people could consider safe spaces, or making them safer and better secured

These are just some of the new projects that will be backed by Bedfordshire’s £880,000 VERU, which the Home Office confirmed to PCC Holloway will be funded for a further 12 months.

The VERU will be funding training for hospital staff to recognise the signs of vulnerable and exploited young people when they attend with injuries or trauma relating to serious violence. Commissioner Holloway is also looking to find services to provide follow up help for victims of these crimes and the earliest possible intervention.
A specific project will be carrying out education and skills training in prisons, with further funding allocated to the county’s Community Safety Partnerships and youth offending services.


Activity Date
Bid Opens 22nd May  
Bid Close 8th June  17:00
Shortlisting with partners 15th June PM
Decisions and contracts papers out 17th June

VERU Funding Application Form


Town Council and Parish Council Fund

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has launched a project to improve certain locations for young people. The OPCC has won a small amount of funding from Central Government that can be used for suitable projects. 
Earlier this year, Shefford Town Council opened a Youth Hub. Over the last couple of years, Shefford have seen the needs of their young people change. As well as a safe place to meet, a facility was needed to encourage such activities as electronic gaming sessions and more importantly, a secure place for young people to meet Youth Involvement Officers who were carrying out mentoring programs.
The Police and Crime Commissioner supported Shefford by funding them which allowed the to refurbish a changing pavilion to create a Youth Hub. The funding was used to remodel the building; installing doors and racking, upgrading lighting and kitchen/toilet facilities, and redecorating internally. The Hub now has a general meeting area, a “private space” office, storage area, toilet and small kitchenette area. It is used by the Youth Team and is liked by the young people.
The OPCC has a small pot of £29k to fund similar projects throughout Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton. This is part of the money that was ‘won’ by the Commissioner from Central Government for the establishment of a Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU).
The funding can be used by Town and Parish councils for a wide range of projects that would improve locations for young people with the ambition of deterring them from unsafe spaces or by investing in areas where young people can socialise in safety. Grant fund applications will be no more than £5k per bid and can be share funded.
The OPCC is keen to get projects underway, just as soon as the current crisis is past.
The OPCC would like to see Town Councils/ Parish Councils to submit ideas in terms of improving locations for young people with the ambition of deterring them from unsafe spaces. Or the opposite where they invest in areas they would support young people in socialising in.
Some examples of possible bids:

  • Improving the security gates of a car park where suspected drug dealing occurs or improving lighting or amenities in a social area a Town Council would be supportive of young people frequenting.
  • Refurbishing outdoor park toilets.
Deadline for bids:
Activity Date
Bid Opens 22nd May 2020
Bid Closes 10th June 2020
Decisions w/c 22nd June 2020
Contracts to be sent w/c 22nd June 2020

If you have any questions, please contact myself or


For more information contact:

Twitter Account: @BedsVeru