YOUTH workers are set to be placed in Russells Hall Hospital in a bid to tackle violent crime.

The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit has secured funding from the Home Office to place three youth workers in the hospital's accident and emergency department.

The scheme will see the youth workers give support to people aged 25 and under who are caught up in serious youth violence, or affected by sexual violence or abuse by supporting the young people concerned.

Clinical staff will alert the youth workers when they believe they have identified someone who is caught up in a cycle of violence or exploitation, either as a victim or a perpetrator.

The youth workers will be on hand to to talk and plan what is needed to address any underlying issues and interrupt the cycle of violence which many young people get caught in.

It follows similar schemes already in place at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands, Children’s Hospital, as well as, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, said: “I’m delighted the Violence Reduction Unit has expanded this A&E programme to Dudley.

“The work St Giles do is fantastic and is all about the prevention of violence, safeguarding young people and saving lives.

“We know we can’t arrest our way out of the problem of violence and the VRU has been tasked with tackling the root causes, before it’s too late or worsens further still.”

Steve Clarke from the St Giles Trust, said: “It is well documented that violence amongst young people is a serious issue and an issue we need to tackle.

“Through the support of the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit we have been able to expand our service into Dudley’s A&E department.

“This will give us an opportunity to engage with those individuals in their hour of need and our youth workers will be on hand to offer tailored support to lead them away from the violence that caused them to end up in hospital in the first place.”