Violence

Our aim

To reduce the harms from violence against the person including domestic abuse, sexual violence, and hate crime.

Why this is a priority

‘Violence against the person’ offences in Portsmouth have risen slightly more than the national rise. Domestic abuse incidents and wounding offences have both risen.

In 2022/23, Portsmouth had higher rates of violence with injury, serious violence, robbery, and possession of a weapon than the HIPS and England averages, but similar rates to Southampton.

What we know  

  • There were 1,035 serious violence offences in the Portsmouth in 2022/23, which accounted for 20% of the total serious violence in the HIPS area.
  • Portsmouth’s rate of serious violence was the second highest compared to other districts and was substantially higher than the HIPS average.
  • Levels of serious violence in Portsmouth have remained similar to 2021/22, however this is higher than pre-Covid levels (for example, this is 12%, n112 higher than 2019/20).
  • The main offences that make up serious violence are possession of a weapon (40%), violence with injury (30%) and robbery of personal property (26%).
  • The recent increases in police recorded serious violence have driven by increases in possession of a weapon offences.
  • There has also been an increase in homicides since 2021/22
  • Serious violence is concentrated in the City Centre spreading up to Buckland neighbourhood, west towards the docks, east to Fratton Park and Milton Parks and south to Palmerston Road, Southsea Common and the seafront from Clarence Pier to just past Southsea Castle.
  • There are no clear seasonal trends, although there are higher levels from Friday to Sunday, mostly in the evenings which suggest links to the night time economy.
  • 64% of serious violence happens in public places, with 9% linked to licenced premises. Also 11% of serious violence involved alcohol use by the suspect and 6% involved drug use by the suspect.
  • Serious violence most commonly took place between strangers (37%), followed by victimless crimes (29%), acquaintances (18%), ex-partners (6%), partners (5%) and family (3%).
  • Domestic abuse continues to be the largest known driver of violence, accounting for 40% of assaults recorded by police.
  • Most suspects are male (84%) and 41% were under 25 years
  • There has been an increase in 10-17 year olds since 2021/22. 20% of suspects were linked to more than one offence, and most were male (88%) and the peak age group was 10-17years (36%).
  • Males were also more likely to be the victims (52%) compared to females (17%), although 31% of offences recorded no victim details, which is common for possession of a weapon offences.
  • Male victims tended to be younger than females. The peak age groups for male victims were 18-24 years (25%) and 25-34 years (21%) compared with 24-34 years (27%) and 35-44 years (24%) for female victims.
  • There were increases in suspects and victims aged 10-17 years compared with 2021/22.

What will we prioritise in the next two years:

  • A local VAWG strategy is being produced.
  • Tackling violent crime: continuing to focus on sexual offences, domestic abuse, hate crime and night-time economy violence.
  • Increase the use of processes and resources to hold perpetrators to
    account
  • Improve links between police and schools when children experience
    or witness domestic violence and abuse
  • Commissioners of all public services to ensure all contracts set out
    clearly the expectations of providers in relation to the identification and response to domestic violence and abuse

Download our Violence statistics infographic (we are currently working on an updated version of the infographic)