National Priority – Serious Violence Strategy

serious violence strategyThe government published a Serious Violence Strategy in April 2018 in
response to rising violent crime in the UK’s major urban centres with gun and knife crime especially concerning in London.

National Serious Violence Strategy, April 2018

‘We need an approach that involves partners across different
sectors, including police, local authorities and the private and
voluntary sector. Communities and local partnerships will be at
the heart of our response. This issue must be understood and owned locally so that all the relevant partners can play their part. We will support local partnerships, working with Police and Crime Commissioners to galvanise the local response to tackling serious violence and ensure that they are reflecting local challenges within their plans’  (p.10)

Local analysis of ‘most serious violence’ in Portsmouth found the
main drivers to be violence in the evening economy, domestic violence
and drug-related harm. Whilst the local enforcement response to these findings is led by the police, the role of partners is vitally important in addressing another key element of the Serious Violence Strategy – early intervention.

Risk and protective factors associated with serious violence, including witnessing domestic violence, are very similar to those associated with substance misuse and youth offending – both of which are existing priorities for the SPP – and were identified in partnership analysis at least 10 years ago. Having these risk factors set out so clearly in the national strategy provides an
opportunity for the SPP to emphasise importance of really using these
risk factors to target early intervention and effect lasting system change.

Drug related harm’ is a term used by police to describe the impact
of drug related offences. The term is also used by Public Health
professionals to describe activity that describes the harm to the health
of individuals using drugs. This is acknowledged in the foreword to the
2017 National Drugs Strategy:

“The harms caused by drug misuse are far reaching and affect our
lives at every level. It includes crime committed to fuel drug
dependence; organised criminality, violence and exploitation which
goes hand in hand with production and supply; and the irreparable
damage and loss to the families and individuals whose lives it destroys.”