The Home Office claims 49,000 violent offences have been prevented thanks to its ‘whole-system’ approach to tackling serious violence. This includes the use of ‘hotspot’ policing initiatives and Violence Reduction Units.
Preventing Violent Offences
If you have been accused of a criminal offence and you want a criminal defence lawyer to represent you, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Violence Reduction Units
The government has launched a number of initiatives in its bid to tackle violent crime, one of which is the creation of Violence Reduction Units. These have been introduced in 18 areas across England and Wales to date. They bring together a local area’s police force, education service, health service and local government, all of whom work together to steer people away from crime and violence.
Each Unit operates its own local projects. For example, in Liverpool, a boxing initiative called ‘Weapons Down Gloves Up’ engages young people through boxing to improve their life chances. It does this by partnering with a civil engineering firm to help young people gain qualifications. Others have carried out prevention work in schools, prisons, hospitals, Pupil Referral Units and police custody suites.
Hotspot policing has also been carried out in areas identified as being at risk of serious violence. Hotspot policing is when intensive, high visibility police foot patrols are conducted for short periods of time. The tactic was first piloted in Southend-on-Sea to great effect, with other trials showing similar results. In Bedfordshire, for example, hotspot policing was carried out in 21 areas. Harm from serious violence dropped by 44% on patrol days.
The Home Office says that in areas that had Violence Reduction Units and intensive police patrols, there were 8,000 fewer incidents of violence that led to injury, and 41,000 fewer incidents without injury, compared to areas without these measures. It is estimated that this resulted in a saving of £385 million in costs for victims and society.
What else is being done?
The government plans to provide additional funding for Violence Reduction Units, with a further two to be established in Cleveland and Humberside. An extra £30 million is also set to be given to expand hotspot policing, which has become known as the ‘Grip’ police enforcement programme.
Legislative changes are also underway. The first notable update is that of the Serious Violence Duty. This will require police, local government, justice and health bodies to collaborate and develop more holistic strategies to protect people from harm.
The second is the introduction of Serious Violence Reduction Orders. This will enable police officers to stop and search those who have previously been convicted of carrying a knife. The police will have to apply to court to get an order first. If the order is approved, the police have the automatic right to stop and search the individual named in the order.
If you have been accused of a serious violent crime, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We have a dedicated team of criminal defence lawyers who are ready and waiting to help you. We offer free police station representation and are members of the legal aid scheme.
Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.