Working in Partnership to Address Serious Violence
A Serious Violence Prevention Strategy for Lincolnshire 2022-2025
The Serious Violence Duty seeks to support local areas in overcoming the impact of violence on individuals and in communities. We know that the causes of violence are complex and interrelated; therefore, addressing them requires strong relationships between agencies. The work relies on good quality data that is consistently collected. And it is dependent upon involvement from and engagement with the people most affected.
In Lincolnshire, as part of work by the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership, a Serious Violence Core Priority Group (SVCPG) has been established to lead on this important duty. The Violence Reduction Needs Assessment completed in 2022 identified the kinds of serious violence that occur in our county and described the causes of that violence through evidence and will inform its work.
This Serious Violence Prevention Strategy is our initial statement of intent that aims to describe the priorities identified in the needs assessment, and how we plan to address them, in line with the Serious Violence Duty. This is a living document that will go on to reflect the views and ideas of the people of Lincolnshire, having laid a strong foundation for violence prevention work for all partners.
There are many forums that are already tackling some of the most pressing issues in the violence prevention agenda, such as domestic abuse, substance misuse, reducing reoffending, and safeguarding our most vulnerable residents.
The SVCPG has prepared this strategy to guide members and our partners, across a range of stakeholders, in choosing high impact work to prevent violence and support those affected by it. The duty, and this strategy, shows the requirement for and the commitment of relevant authorities to plan and act together in order to make a difference to Lincolnshire residents by reducing violence in our communities.
Upon building a strong foundation for the work, we will publish the strategy for wider consultation as the duty came into effect in early 2023. We want as many people as possible to have their say in what is important to them in regard to their feelings of safety and their experience of violence, and to hear their views and ideas on what to do about it.
This strategy will be kept under review, and it will be revised and reissued regularly to reflect progress and changing community needs.
We are pleased to share this initial strategy with you, and we look forward to your engagement in its evolution and implementation as we continue to make Lincolnshire one of the safest counties in the country.
Marc Jones - Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire
Councillor Patricia Bradwell, OBE - Co-Chair, Serious Violence Core Priority Group
Defining Serious Violence – A National Narrative
In addition to incorporating the Crime & Disorder Act (1998), The Serious Violence Duty (2022) calls on authorities within specified geographic boundaries to work collaboratively to “prevent people from becoming involved in serious violence, both as victims and perpetrators, and reduce instances of serious violence in the area” – Home Office (2022).
The World Health Organisation defines violence as: “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation”. The Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Act 2022 includes domestic abuse, sexual offences, violence against property, and threats of violence within its provision for purposes of the Serious Violence Duty. Our role in the creation of this strategy is to embrace a multi-agency structure that can meet locally identified, well defined serious violence markers and actively reduce them; tactically, operationally, and through education that is fit for purpose. We will focus our efforts on the following from the Serious Violence National Strategy;
- Early Intervention & Prevention
- Supporting Communities & Local Partnerships
- Law Enforcement & the Criminal Justice Response
For the purpose of delivering the Serious Violence Duty in Lincolnshire, the local working definition will focus on the data collection of ‘crimes/hospital attendances that involve physical violence which result in injury’, data which will harmonise to the national key measures derived from the Duty.
How have we organised?
The Serious Violence Core Priority Group (SVCPG) was set up through the established Safer Lincolnshire Partnership with the provision of financial investment by the Police and Crime Commissioner in August 2022. As of October 2022, the group has a designated Serious Violence Coordinator and a dedicated team tasked to deliver the duty. As per the duty ‘Specified Authorities’ are the organisations responsible for delivering the Duty, identified as:
- Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board
- Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue
- Lincolnshire Police
- Lincolnshire County Council
- Youth Offending Service
- North Kesteven District Council
- South Kesteven District Council
- West Lindsey District Council
- East Lindsey District Council
- South Holland District Council
- Boston Borough Council
- Lincoln City Council
Together, the specified authorities are jointly accountable for delivering the key milestones of the grant. The specified authorities must jointly agree how this funding is allocated and in the case of relevant authority costs, consult with them. (Please see Terms of Reference for further information).
‘Relevant Authorities’ are education, prisons, or youth prisons. They must be consulted by specified authorities in their preparation of a serious violence strategy and may be required to carry out actions (e.g. interventions) under such a strategy. They may also be required to collaborate with a specified authority to prevent and reduce serious violence in their local area. They must be consulted by specified authorities in regard to the costs they incur in delivering their obligations under the Duty.
What is the intended impact?
Our strategic principles include: a focus on a public health approach to prevention and early intervention across the life course; investing in evidenced-based programmes that mitigate risk factors and bolster protective factors; using a system-wide, partnership and place-based foundation; intended to encompass community insight and perceptions of their lived experience of their environment.
A collaborative, whole system approach to prevention and early intervention that reaches across agencies, across the county, to protect all residents and visitors from exposure to, or involvement in, serious violence. Serious Violence (SV) occurs within a complex social and structural landscape, as does the response to address it. The Multi-Agency Partnership Approach will work to “turn off the tap” of violence being addressed across a range of groups and forums—such as domestic abuse, substance misuse, efforts to reduce reoffending, violence against women and girls, and the illicit drug trade, to name a few.
To deliver outstanding problem-solving and evidenced-based prevention and early intervention activities, in partnership at all levels in order to meet our Serious Violence Duty.
In the Serious Violence Duty consultation guidance, the Home Office specifies that local areas should define serious violence based on the outcomes of its strategic needs assessment, focusing on the kinds of violence that are most prevalent and impactful in the local area. The priorities identified from our Serious Violence Needs Assessment are:
- Public place serious violence, with or without a weapon, particularly in the night time economy and related to the illicit drug trade
- Male on male violence, particularly in the under 25s
- Sexual offences, particularly against the 0-19s
- Geographic pockets of violence that are in the most prevalent areas in Lincolnshire (this will be monitored and addressed through regular analytical reviews and a place based, whole system approach)
- Homicide (Domestic/Non-Domestic)
In addition, Section 13(6) of the duty instructs that specified authorities should include a focus on public space youth violence including; homicide, violence against the person, which may include both knife crime and gun crime, and areas of criminality where serious violence or its threat is inherent. This will be built into delivery plans, and will be included in some of the duties key measures.
Our Strategic Aims
- Prevention: To prevent violence from occurring by addressing the root causes of violence and creating a culture of non-violence
- Protection: To protect individuals and communities from violence by providing access to effective and responsive support systems.
- Intervention: To intervene in violent situations to minimise harm and prevent the escalation of violence. (Notes from the national strategy: Interventions focused on the establishment of cognitive or character-based skills and/or non-violent norms seem to be more effective than punitive interventions).
- Rehabilitation: To rehabilitate perpetrators of violence and support their reintegration into society.
Three national key measures for the prevention and reduction of serious violence that will need to align with our local priority areas and aims are:
- a reduction in hospital admissions for assaults with a knife or sharp object;
- a reduction in knife and sharp object enabled serious violence recorded by the police; and
- homicides recorded by the police (SV Duty pg. 101).
Additional recommendations are to focus on Youth Violence in public spaces & may wish to focus on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (we cover all three topics by way of The Happening Project, Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Partnership & Priority 3/VAWG Group overlap).
A whole System Approach The Public Health
A public health approach to violence aims to prevent a problem before it occurs, and evidence indicates that violence is preventable once we understand where the problem begins. The SVCPG and its vision aligns with the Serious Violence Duty guidance that endorses the WHO definition of a public health approach:
- Focused on a defined population
- With and for communities
- Not constrained by organisational or professional boundaries
- Focussed on generating long term as well as short term solutions
- Based on data and useful information to identify the burden on the population, including any inequalities
The approach advocates a whole system multi-agency approach that is place-based and incorporates public health principles. These principles are called the 5Cs because there are 5 component parts which are:
- co-operation in data and intelligence sharing
- counter-narrative development
- community consensus, which is central to the approach.
These can be used as a guide to address the specific needs of a local population reflecting local geographies, operating systems, existing partnerships and community assets, resources and most importantly need. The 5Cs approach supports a shared vision to create a safe and healthy community for all, free from violence and with meaningful opportunities for all. This approach will feed into our local objectives.
- Increase public awareness and understanding of the root causes of violence, including social, economic, and cultural factors.
- Develop and implement evidence-based prevention programs that address the underlying factors contributing to violence, such as poverty, inequality, and discrimination.
- Strengthen support systems for victims of violence, including access to medical care, legal services, and mental health support.
- Enhance law enforcement response to violence by improving training, resources, and coordination between agencies.
- Support rehabilitation and reintegration programs for perpetrators of violence, including counselling, education, and vocational training.
- Conduct research and evaluations to improve the effectiveness of violence prevention and intervention programs.
- Build partnerships and collaborations across sectors and stakeholders to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive approach to violence prevention and reduction.
Year 1 Objective
Agree the scope of violence acknowledging where the most prevalent, impactful types of violence are already being addressed and enhancing that work.
- The scope has been agreed.
Agree the governance arrangements for strategic and operational violence prevention work and link in with existing statutory boards where possible.
- An inventory of activities addressing serious violence prevention is created and shared across groups. A communication plan and a process for review and revision has been established to keep it current. It is used as a tool to inform effective decision making, funding, and commissioning.
Ensure all partners are sighted and engaged with violence reduction wider programmes of work to avoid duplication, fill gaps, and make most efficient use of resources.
- The SVCPG has an agreed terms of reference, accountable membership and leadership, and shares information and communicates with other responsible forums addressing serious violence in Lincolnshire.
The Happening Project – this knife crime initiative is an immersive, educational experience that aims to prevent and divert young people away from carrying a knife and being involved in serious violence.
- The Happening has been built within Sleaford Police Stations’ former custody suite and a number of rooms converted into state-of-the-art spaces centred around knife crime. Each room is unique and utilises real world props, videos, graffiti, posters, written content and more to help educate and inform young people. There is a mixture of immersive workshops for groups of young people as well as one to one sessions. The project design has been created in conjunction with the University of Lincoln and we have listened to the voices of young people throughout. The Happening was officially opened on 10th January 2024.
Target resources effectively through increased understanding of the population, its risk and protective factors, and who is most affected by violence and in what context.
- The Violence Reduction Needs Assessment is used by a wide range of partners and agencies to review existing programmes and services that are meant to address serious violence, and to inform the design and commissioning of new ones.
Build effective, sustainable, and robust information sharing agreements that enable and improve information flows between partners, and ensure that they are meaningful and properly maintained.
- Using guidance from existing Violence Reduction Units in the UK and as emphasised in the Serious Violence Duty, an assessment of current data sharing between partners informs the action plan for Years 2 and 3 to troubleshoot, improve, design, and implement more effective, fit for purpose information sharing agreements across agencies.
Links to Supporting Information