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Serious Violence Duty

Find out what the new serious violence duty is and what we’re doing about serious violence in Suffolk.

What is the Serious Violence Duty?

Following a public consultation in July 2019, the Government announced a new Serious Violence Duty which will ensure relevant public services work together to share data and knowledge, and allow them to target interventions to prevent and reduce serious violence.

What is Serious Violence?

The Home Office serious violence strategy shows that since 2014, specific types of serious violence have been increasing faster than other crime types. Specifically, homicide, knife crime, gun crime and county lines drug dealing have increased significantly. The new duty however also widens the scope for each area to include other forms of serious violence, for example, robbery, aggravated burglary, assaults, arson endangering life, modern slavery, sexual assault, exploitation & disorder.

Why has the duty been introduced?

Serious violence has a devastating impact on victims and their families, instils fear within communities and is extremely costly to society. Incidents of serious violence have increased and all Local Authority areas have challenges and opportunities in preventing and responding to serious violence.

Who are the duty holders (who is responsible)?

  • Suffolk Constabulary
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Suffolk Youth Offending Teams
  • Probation Service
  • All Suffolk district and borough councils
  • Integrated Care Boards
  • Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

In addition to the duty holders, other settings are expected to be involved in decision making including the police and crime commissioner, educational settings, prisons and secure estates, the voluntary sector, businesses and communities.

The Suffolk Strategy

The Serious Violence Duty is new to public sector duty holders and its partners, however, preventing and reducing serious violent crime has been a core theme of several existing work programmes in Suffolk for many years.

Serious violence is a complex and serious issue that is not unique to Suffolk. Whilst Suffolk remains a very safe place to live and visit, we are not complacent, and recognise the need for strong partnerships to ensure this type of crime does not increase.

Prevention is at the core to any successful violence reduction approach. It requires a long-term commitment by a range of agencies, individuals, and communities to prevent the physical and psychological damage that violence can cause for individuals, families, our communities and wider society.

By adopting a long-term approach, predicated on public health and community safety outcomes we stand a greater chance to deliver and support families and young people to prevent violence now and for future generations.

Download the Suffolk Serious Violence Strategy.

Resources and Useful Links