Exploring the VLI, for Identifying Priority Neighbourhoods, in the Context of Multi-Agency Community Safety Initiatives
The Vulnerable Localities Index (VLI) emerged from the collaboration between Centrex and the JDI Centre (UCL) as a method of identifying vulnerable communities. This study analyses the effectiveness of the model in a strategic multi-agency project across the Merseyside area. The aim of the project was to prioritize the most vulnerable location in each of the six police divisions to deliver more effective partnership working, including the reduction of crime and disorder. The research shows practitioners found the model simple and accessible to use, requiring limited training. Further, the six multi-agency criteria used by the model appears accurate in highlighting areas that suffer from a disproportionate level of multifaceted problems. Although practitioner expertise is still necessary to prioritize the areas most in need of intervention, it was found the VLI creates a more partnership-oriented forum, to target resources effectively.