Jimmy Paul appointed Head of Scottish Violence Reduction Unit

Jimmy Paul has been appointed as the next Head of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU), leading the unit in its work to identify innovative, evidence-based solutions to prevent violence across Scotland.

Part of Police Scotland and directly funded by the Scottish Government with an annual budget of around £1million, the SVRU is a national centre of expertise on violence which uses a public health approach to address the underlying causes.

Jimmy will head a team made up of police officers, civilian police staff and people who are experts by experience, to work with partners across health, education, social work, housing and many other fields.

“I am incredibly proud to begin my tenure as the head of the SVRU” Jimmy said. “Violence is a deeply-rooted issue that affects individuals, families and communities throughout Scotland, and the work of this unit is imperative to creating a safer Scotland.

“Alongside a dedicated and hardworking team, I am committed to working tirelessly to see this lasting positive change realised. By continuing to use a public health approach and in collaborating like never before, I am convinced we can achieve this.

“Fundamentally, I want to ensure we are not just referencing those who have lived experience of this issue, but they are at the heart of our efforts. Working together, I am confident we can deliver on our forward-thinking strategy which not only reflects the challenges of today but tackles them head on and, ultimately, realises our mission of making Scotland the safest country to live in.”

Jimmy has experience managing health and social care services, in care reform (most notably acting as a co-chair at the Independent Care Review in Scotland) and leading charities: he recently completed his tenure as the Director at the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland.

Building on the historic legacy of the SVRU, Jimmy will spearhead strategic initiatives aimed at reducing violence and its associated harms across Scotland as the unit becomes a partner in the delivery of the Scottish Government’s Violence Prevention Framework for Scotland, launched earlier this year.

Victims and Community Safety Minister, Siobhian Brown said: “I am delighted to welcome Jimmy Paul as the new Head of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU). The work of the SVRU is vital in developing and delivering Scotland’s public health approach to violence prevention in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring people feel safe within their communities, free from violence, which is why we recently published our new plan to prevent violence across Scotland, providing more than £2 million investment to support a range of preventative approaches. These include the work of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Medics Against Violence, and YouthLink Scotland to deliver No Knives, Better Lives, all of which offer services and support to prevent and divert people away from violence and reduce harm.”

Assistant Chief Constable Faroque Hussain, Partnerships Prevention and Community Wellbeing, said: “I congratulate Jimmy on his appointment and look forward to working with him.”

Niven Rennie


Telephone: 01786 896785          Email: violence.reduction@scotland.pnn.police.uk

Niven has more than 30 years of operational policing experience in the United Kingdom. He joined Strathclyde Police in 1985 serving throughout the west of Scotland in a variety of ranks and positions before progressing to the rank of Chief Superintendent. Niven previously held the role of President of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents where he represented the interests of the operational leaders of policing in Scotland.

On leaving Police Scotland in 2016 Niven took up the position of Chief Executive Officer of South Ayrshire Escape from Homelessness (SeAscape).

Niven was appointed director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit in July 2018.