Agenda item

Serious Violence Prevention Strategy

A discussion item which seeks the Board’s endorsement of a number of recommendations on the Serious Violence Prevention Strategy.


Jonathon Toy introduced this item which set out the duties for a number of partner agencies under the Police Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 to address the root causes of serious violence. These included requirements for collaboration and for consultation with education authorities and youth offending services in the preparation of a local Serious Violence Strategy.


The draft government guidance stated that the specified authorities come together to decide on the appropriate lead and structure of collaboration for their area. The government narrative had been referred to as a “Public Health Approach” to serious violence prevention.  Public Health England, in its publication, “A whole system multi agency approach to violence prevention”, set out three levels of violence prevention. Investment had been aligned to areas with high levels of serious violence. This was not applicable to Warwickshire, even though it was surrounded by areas which did meet the criteria and the County was a net importer of serious violence.


It was recognised that prevention was a key aspect. This required a long-term commitment by a range of agencies, individuals and communities. This approach would also support action towards health and wellbeing priorities.


Interventions to address serious violence were defined as universal (aimed at a general population); selected (targeted at those more at risk); and indicated (targeted at those who use violence). The Warwickshire Serious Violence Prevention Model was provided as an appendix to the report. It combined these universal and selected interventions, supporting those most impacted by serious violence, whilst creating a climate where serious violence was not tolerated.


The strategic priorities were reported, together with the requirements for consultation on the Strategy and the wide engagement undertaken with partner agencies. It had been adopted by the Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board (SWPB), the Education Authority, Youth Justice Service and National Probation Service. The next step was the development of a multi-agency delivery plan.


The SWPB would work with key stakeholders to maximise the resources available and influence partner organisations to deliver the Strategy. Detail was provided on the lead group to agree the priorities within the delivery plan and the training requirements for frontline practitioners.


In addition to the statutory duty, the Act had introduced serious weapon homicide reviews. For defined qualifying homicides review partners were required to conduct a review into the person’s death. Meeting this requirement was currently being worked through with the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit.


The financial implications were reported. There were revenue implications of a partnership commissioning fund in the region of £100-150,000 per annum for a three-year period. It was expected this would be part-funded by the Home Office and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner had indicated a willingness to provide matched funding. The WCC Community Safety Team would take a lead role and there would be resource implications for all partners in regard to training and establishing the commissioning fund.


Questions and comments were submitted, with responses provided as indicated:


  • The Chair sought more information about monitoring and implementation of the strategy. This would be via a Serious Violence Strategic Group of the SWPB. It was suggested that as the delivery plan was developed it be brought to this and other boards to ensure ownership.
  • The Chair referred to the report recommendations and specifically that relating to the establishment of a delivery fund. She reminded that this Board did not have authority to agree this or its own funding and therefore suggested an update to the wording of this recommendation.
  • It was questioned if the removal of local police officers impacted on liaison. Mr Toy responded that from experience, community leaders provided a more important local voice that would be listened to. Whilst authorities like the police were important, using local influencers was more so.
  • A view that schools should be more involved, to ensure a dialogue with young people from an early age and identify causes which led to people participating in serious crime. The Chair agreed that this was about early intervention, speaking of the implications of trauma for young people and the need for all parts of the community to be involved. The training and awareness raising aspects were welcomed.
  • Chris Bain spoke of feedback at the recent Warwickshire pride event. There were increasing incidents of hate crime, and people felt more threatened. Other concerns were cyber violence with an associated impact on mental health and violence against women. It was questioned if the strategy would provide a sufficient response. Mr Toy referred to the hate crime partnership, the strategic approach taken to hate crime and the excellent work being undertaken by the WCC equality and diversity inclusion group. Work was also being undertaken within the Community Safety section including targeted use of ‘safer streets’ funding. The Strategy made direct reference to the impact of social media. It was about changing the narrative. There was an ambition to engage younger people, to shape social media messaging. An example was provided of current engagement with people who had been involved in county lines and serious violence. There was an opportunity to use messaging in a more positive environment. Chris Bain suggested a direct conversation with the LGBTQ+ community and he offered to make introductions.


The Chair added that the Board would welcome periodic updates and a revisit to this area at a future meeting.



That the Health and Wellbeing Board:


  1. Endorses the Warwickshire Serious Violence Prevention Strategy and will work collaboratively with the Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board and Local Criminal Justice Board to support delivery of the strategic priorities set out in the strategy and delivery plan.


  1. Endorses the adoption of a public health approach to serious violence prevention as set out in “A whole system multi agency approach to violence prevention”, published by Public Health England.


  1. Supports the work of lead officers across named statutory agencies for the establishment of a delivery fund to ensure the objectives set out in the Warwickshire Serious Violence Prevention Strategy delivery plan are achieved and are affordable within current budgets/resources.


  1. Works in partnership to develop a training and awareness programme for front line health practitioners on the duty and how to identify and refer those at risk of serious violence.


Supports the Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board in the development of and response to Serious Weapon Homicide Reviews that are coming into force as part for the above act.

Supporting documents: