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Who we are

​The Wales Violence Prevention Unit was established through funding from the Home Office in 2019. The core team comprises members from police forces, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Public Health Wales, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), Home Office Immigration and the voluntary sector.

We take a public health approach to preventing violence. This means that we seek to understand the causes of violence based on evidence. We use this evidence to develop interventions focused on the underlying causes of violence. We properly evaluate these interventions before scaling up each one to help more people and communities across Wales. Through this approach we aim to develop a whole system response to the prevention of violence.

Who’s involved

Core Members Associate Members Organisations we’ve commissioned

Core Members

Jon Drake, Director

Jon is a former Police Officer, having served for more than 30 years in Staffordshire and latterly South Wales Police where he was Assistant Chief Constable.

Daniel Jones, Deputy Director

Daniel joins the Violence Prevention Unit from the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, where he was Head of Partnerships.

Lara Snowdon, Public Health Lead, Public Health Wales

Lara's role involves strategic leadership, research, and evaluation as we develop our public health approach to violence prevention for Wales.

Chief Inspector Mathew Lewis, Police Lead

Mathew is seconded to the Violence Prevention Unit as the Police Lead. Prior to moving into the VPU Mathew was the Operational Chief Inspector for the Neath Port Talbot area.

Emma Barton, Violence Prevention Outcomes Manager, Public Health Wales

Emma joins the Violence Prevention Unit from Public Health Wales, where she led a research team to deliver a number of research and evaluation projects.

Emma Thomas, Senior Police Analyst

Emma joins the Violence Prevention Unit from North Wales Police, where she is the Principal Analyst for the force.

Annemarie Newbury, Violence Prevention Outcomes Officer, Public Health Wales

Annemarie joins the Violence Prevention Unit from Public Health Wales, where she worked as a researcher in Public Health and policing.

Gemma Woolfe, South Wales Serious Violence Prevention Coordinator

Gemma is is seconded to the Violence Prevention Unit from the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner's Office as the Serious Violence Prevention Coordinator.

Kelly Williams, Serious Violence Prevention Coordinator

Kelly is the Serious Violence Coordinator for the Gwent area, having worked in Local Government in Gwent for 10 years.

Amanda Hanson, Serious Violence Prevention Coordinator

Amanda is a Serious Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in North Wales.

James Beazley, Violence Prevention Coordinator, HMPPS

James is seconded from HMPPS having previously undertaken the role of the Serious Organised Crime Probation Officer for Wales.


Alice Heiden, Serious Violence Prevention Probation Officer, HMPPS

Alice is seconded from HMPPS, having worked as an Offender Manager for five years in Gwent

Bryony Parry, Communications Lead

Bryony is responsible for all internal and external communication activity for the Violence Prevention Unit.

Holly Freeman, Business Support Officer

Holly is seconded to the Violence Prevention Unit from South Wales Police as the Business Support Officer.

Youth Justice Lead

The Youth Justice Lead, from the Youth Justice Board, works with the Violence Prevention Unit to ensure work contributes to a youth justice system that treats children fairly and helps them to build on their strengths.

Welsh Government - Education

Two Education Leads from Welsh Government work with the Violence Prevention Unit to inform violence prevention activity in education.

Home Office Immigration

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Safeguarding Lead

School’s Programme Lead

Honorary Professor

NHS Consultant