VRU wins public health award

The VRU is to receive a special award for its work in the field of public health.

The Paolo Pertica Award, which will be presented to the Unit at the City Health 2012 conference in October, recognises the VRU's "...collaborative efforts to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to the deep rooted problems of violence associated with drug and alcohol use for individuals and their communities".

Established in 2004 by the European Network of Drugs and Infections Prevention in Prisons (ENDIPP) to mark their 10th anniversary, the award was created to acknowledge Paolo's contribution to the development of work with drug using prisoners in Europe. Paolo himself will present the award at City Health 2012, which takes place at the Guildhall, London, next month.

VRU co-director Karyn McCluskey, who will be speaking on public health and policing at City Health 2012, said:

"When we set up the Unit, choosing to adopt a public health approach rather than a justice one was in itself seen as innovative. But that approach - treating the one who is "sick" with violence rather than locking them up - has paid and continues to pay massive dividends in terms of a holistic approach not just to reducing violence but to preventing it in the long term.

"We are delighted to receive this award."