The Serious Violence Duty commenced on 31 January 2023 and was introduced by government under the Police Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. As part of the requirements of the Duty, the Safer Ealing Partnership has developed and now published a strategy for how the Duty will be implemented locally.
The Duty requires responsible authorities in a local area to work together to prevent and reduce serious violence, including identifying the kinds of serious violence that occur in the area, the causes of that violence, and to prepare and implement a strategy for preventing and reducing serious violence.
Responsible authorities (also known as “duty holders”) who are subject to the Duty include: local authorities, the police, youth offending teams, health bodies, Probation, and the fire service. In Ealing, the Safer Ealing Partnership is the local partnership arrangement leading on the Duty since it includes all of these responsible authorities as part of its membership.
The strategy sets out the agreed local definition of serious violence for Ealing, summarises the key findings of the evidence based analysis of serious violence in Ealing, the objectives and key areas of activity to prevent and reduce serious violence, as well as activity to engage with voluntary sector organisations, communities – including young people and businesses.
Summary of the strategy
The strategy builds on and is supported by several existing local and regional strategies, including:
The strategy has four objectives:
- Prevention of serious violence and reoffending
- Support victims and those disproportionately at risk
- Minimise the impact of serious violence on the community
- Increase trust, confidence and involvement of communities
The Safer Ealing Partnership has agreed a range of activity to reduce the risk of violence and vulnerability. These are linked to the objectives of the strategy but, can also be summarised in the following themes:
- Governance – oversight of the leadership and governance of violence reduction locally.
- Analysis and enforcement – understanding how analysis and local enforcement tactics are used to disrupt violence locally.
- Reducing access to weapons – how partners are working jointly to minimise access including using Trading Standard initiatives and weapons sweeps.
- Safeguarding and educating young people – activity focussing on reducing exclusions, contextual safeguarding, support for children in care and care leavers, working with parents and carers and ensuring schools are safe and inclusive spaces.
- Working with communities and neighbourhoods to reduce violence – ensuring that activity locally works closely with communities to reduce violence, including the voluntary sector and in particular young people.
- Supporting victims of violence and vulnerability – ensuring co-ordinated referral and high quality support to victims and those who are most vulnerable to being exploited.
- Positive diversion from violence – providing targeted early interventions to ensure that children and young people are helped to move away from criminality.
- Tackling violence against women and girls – broad range of activity to address abuse and violence disproportionality experienced by women with a strong emphasis on prevention.
Ealing Council’s Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequality and Chair of the Safer Ealing Partnership, Councillor Jasbir Anand, said: “Ensuring the safety and well-being of our community is our top priority as we strive for a more equitable Ealing. In the face of persistent challenges, we have dedicated ourselves to curbing violence across the borough, from addressing violence against women and girls to prioritising the safety of our youth. Through years of attentive listening to the voices of those affected, we have meticulously crafted plans and executed actions tailored to local priorities and the unique challenges we face.
While acknowledging our progress, we recognise there is more work ahead in combating violence. I am pleased to announce the launch of the Serious Violence Duty strategy, a positive step forward in strengthening our collaboration with partners and residents. This strategy reaffirms our commitment to addressing the root causes of violence and emphasises our dedication to fostering a safer environment.”