How PCCs are working with partners to prevent serious violence
The APCC has published ‘Innovative & Effective Approaches to Tackling Serious Violence'.
Violent crime has a devastating impact on victims and communities, and is extremely costly to society, but police forces and other agencies cannot work in isolation to tackle it. This ‘In Focus’ outlines the crucial work Police and Crime Commissioner (PCCs) are doing across England and Wales to facilitate effective multi-agency partnerships to prevent serious violence. It highlights collaborative and evidence-based approaches which are the key to making our communities safer. PCCs have shared their reflections on challenges and lessons learnt, which will benefit other areas looking to replicate similar interventions.
APCC Serious Violence Leads, Simon Foster and Steve Turner said:
"PCCs have played a key role in delivering the Serious Violence Duty (the Duty) since it was introduced in January 2023. The Duty stipulates that specific authorities have a duty to collaborate to prevent and reduce serious violence. PCCs have taken on the non-statutory role of lead convenor under the Duty which places them at the heart of the implementation of local strategy in this joined-up approach. As Joint Leads on Serious Violence and Homicide, both of us are keen to ensure a robust evaluation of the Duty, including maximising the opportunity for sharing best practice and learning.
“This ‘In Focus’ highlights the innovative and exciting work which is taking place around the country. With the new Duty bringing an increased focus on the issues of violent crime, we are confident that these approaches are the key to making our communities safer.”
Examples in the report include:
Operation Deter in Thames Valley - a programme which combines two approaches; one more robust criminal justice approach to adults found in possession of an offensive weapon, and a different one for young people, with earlier and intensive intervention through the Youth Offending Team Act Now programme to aim to divert them from the criminal justice system thereby preventing further offending.
The Habitual Knife Carriers (HKC) project in Sussex which uses the HKC risk index to identify those young people most likely to carry knives. This ground-breaking tool has been developed by Sussex Police and is the first of its kind in the country.
The A&E Navigator Programme is a flagship of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership. By placing trained and dedicated youth workers within the emergency departments of hospitals, it reaches those in crisis at the right time and at that ‘teachable’ moment. From involvement in knife crime, assault with a weapon to drugs, gangs and exploitation, it allows professionals to intervene at the earliest opportunity.
The West Midlands Faith Alliance Project - a regional multi-faith network bringing together faith groups and organisations around a violence reduction agenda. In November 2022, the Faith Alliance was recognised as best practice by a report, entitled Faith in Prisons, which was published by the Good Faith Partnership and launched in Parliament.
Minister for Policing, Chris Philp MP said:
“This report highlights exactly the sort of activity that we should be striving to undertake across the country to tackle this issue – innovative, grounded in evidence and focused on combatting the underlying causes of violent crime. When it comes to serious violence, there are no simple solutions. Instead, we must keep up a focused, forensic approach to tackling its causes and consequences.”