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Strategy and Governance

Serious Violence Duty Explanation

Within the financial year 22/23, the Serious Violence Duty (SVD) was introduced as a statutory duty by the Government. In essence, the duty requires specified authorities in a local government area to work collaboratively and share information with the view to reduce serious violence in their area. To achieve this, all partners are expected to adopt a multi-agency, public health approach to understand the causes and effects of serious violence, develop a strategic response to prevention and early intervention and monitor the impact of this work.

Who are the Specified Authorities?

Introduced as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, the Serious Violence Duty requires specified authorities to work together to prevent and reduce serious violence in their local area (this Duty is supported by national guidance, finalised in December 2022). These specified authorities are:

  • Police
  • Probation
  • Youth Justice Service
  • Fire and Rescue
  • Health
  • Local Authorities

Relevant authorities include prisons, youth custody and education and they are able to co-operate with the specified authorities as necessary.

Partners must identify the types of serious violence most prevalent in their local area, the causes of that violence and to prepare and implement a clear strategy to prevent and reduce this violence. More specifically, the SVD encourages local authorities to work together to: produce a strategic needs assessment focusing on risk and protective factors; a response strategy detailing how partners will collaborate to reduce risk; regularly review these products; and ensure Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) focus specifically on serious violence within their local plans. As such, the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) SNA aids in this duty through the identification of key types of serious violence and areas most at risk within the Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton  area.

Response Strategy Serious Violence Duty Explanation

The Serious Violence Duty requires local partnerships to take a multi-agency, public health approach to understand the causes and effects of serious violence, develop a strategic response focusing on prevention and early intervention, and monitor the impact of this preventative work. The underlying principles of a public health approach applied to serious violence are:

  • Violence is preventable
  • Interventions are guided by evidence where available and developing the evidence base where it is absent, and informed by data
  • Focused on a defined population, often with a health risk in common. Victims, perpetrators and sometimes bystanders are all vulnerable to further involvement in violence
  • The approach is with and for communities, reflecting the voices and experiences of the communities served. This should also involve taking a trauma-informed approach
  • Commitment to a system-wide approach underpinned by mature and committed partnership arrangements
  • Focused on long-term impact, acting on the root causes of the problem as well as short-term consequences and emphasising early intervention.

The Violence Reduction Partnerships SNA, Response Strategy and Annual Report can be accessed via the VRU website.