What is the Serious Violence Duty?
Serious violence has a devastating impact on lives of victims and families and instils fear within communities and is extremely costly to society. Incidents of serious violence have increased in England and Wales since 2014. For example, offences involving knives or sharp instruments increased by 84 percent between the year to June 2014 and the year to June 2020. The Duty is a key part of the Government’s programme of work to collaborate and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence: taking a multi-agency approach to understand the causes and consequences of serious violence, focusing on prevention and early intervention, and informed by evidence. In addition to tough law enforcement, we need to understand and address the factors that cause someone to commit violent crime in the first place, this includes where coercion is a factor regarding vulnerable children and adults. The Duty aims to ensure that agencies are focussed on their activity to prevent and reduce serious violence whilst also providing sufficient flexibility so that the relevant organisations will engage and work together in the most effective local partnership for any given area.
The Duty covers the requirements set out in Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the PCSC Act. It requires specified authorities for a local government area to work together and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence, including identifying the kinds of serious violence that occur in the area, the causes of that violence (so far as it is possible to do so), and to prepare and implement a strategy for preventing, and reducing serious violence in the area. The Duty also requires the specified authorities to consult educational, prison and youth custody authorities for the area in the preparation of their strategy. The Duty does not require the creation of new multi-agency structures.
Local senior leaders, as set out in this guidance, may use existing local structures where possible to comply with the requirements of the Duty to work together to prevent and reduce serious violence in their local areas and, ultimately, to improve community safety and safeguarding. The Duty requires the specified authorities to collaborate and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence. In doing so, local areas are encouraged to adopt the World Health Organisation’s definition of a public health approach.
Serious Violence Duty strategy:
Ian Bancroft, Chair Of Safer North Wales Partnership Board:
"As Chair of the Safer North Wales Partnership Board, I am proud to present our first-ever Serious Violence Response Strategy-a landmark document that marks a turning point in our collective efforts to create a safer, more just region.
When Serious Violence occurs, and when people are living in fear of violence, the impact within our communities is devastating. This strategy, born from extensive collaboration among key stakeholders and our vital community partners, offers a bold and comprehensive blueprint for change.
Our vision is clear: a North Wales where violence holds no sway, where individuals feel safe and empowered, and where families thrive in a climate of respect and dignity. This overarching vision guides our strategic objectives to work together, hand in hand with our communities, to prevent and reduce serious violence in all its forms.
The pillars of this strategy are clear:
Supporting and enhancing prevention and early intervention around violence against women and girls, domestic abuse, and sexual violence.
Promoting contextual safeguarding to work with young children and young people vulnerable to exploitation and or modern slavery.
Identifying and implementing improvements, best practice, and innovation as a partnership to serious violence
Building a preventative approach in North Wales through an understanding of risk, adverse childhood experiences and trauma.
This strategy acknowledges the immense work already being done across our diverse partnership. We celebrate the dedication of police officers, firefighters, healthcare professionals, social workers, youth offending teams, probation officers, and countless others who strive daily to keep our communities safe. But we also recognise that together, we can achieve far more.
This is not simply a document it is a call to action. Let us build a North Wales where violence is not tolerated, where support systems are readily available and hope and opportunity prevail.
The road ahead may be challenging, but I am confident that through unwavering commitment, collaborative spirit, and a shared vision for a safer future we can write a new chapter for North Wales, a chapter free from the grip of violence and with the promise of a brighter tomorrow.
Together, let us build a North Wales without violence."
Click below to read the Serious Violence Duty strategy:
The Serious Violence Duty Partnership is currently engaged with a team of consultants from Crest Advisory UK, who's primary responsibility involves the development and authoring of the North Wales Strategy:
The 'Future Without Violence' projects encompass the seven initiatives sponsored by North Wales, funded through the initial allocation of the Serious Violence Duty:
This is an agreement between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Specified Authorities to lead, commit to, and comply with the Serious Violence Duty requirements through collaborative working and taking a public health approach to reducing and preventing serious violence in North Wales.
Click below to read the Serious Violence Duty agreement: