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11 July, 2023

Have your say on the impact of serious violence across York and North Yorkshire

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe in partnership with local organisations, is consulting with the public on the impact of Serious Violence in communities and how to address this in their local area. 

Government has no set definition of serious violence and instead has asked partners to collaborate locally to determine what this means for their areas. Crimes associated with serious violence may include homicide, knife crime, gun crime and offences where violence is often prevalent such as those related to organised crime. This is not limited to physical violence and so may include domestic abuse, sexual abuse and violence against property. 

The public are being encouraged to complete a 10–15-minute survey, giving voice to their experiences, concerns and general thoughts about serious violence within the areas they live and work, which will help to shape a local strategy and tackle it head on.  

Underpinning this work is the Serious Violence Duty introduced in January 2023, a key part of the Home Office’s programme of work for partners to collaborate in their approach to reduce serious violence in their area.  

York and North Yorkshire partners are committed to achieving this using a multi-agency approach to understand the causes and consequences of serious violence, focusing on prevention and early intervention, and always informed by evidence. 

As a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Commissioner Zoë is required to convene partners (including North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Probation services, North Yorkshire Council, City of York Council, Youth Justice Services and the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board) to work together to prevent and reduce serious violence that occurs across our region, develop a Strategic Needs Assessment (SNA) and implement a Response Strategy to address it.  

The full national guidance can be found here:  www.gov.uk/government/publications/serious-violence-duty  

The Serious Violence survey for York and North Yorkshire is running for three weeks and will close on Tuesday 1st August 2023.  To complete the survey, please visit:  www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WU01I4/  

 

Commissioner Zoë said: “Serious violence has a devastating impact on victims, families and communities across the country and whilst we know that overall North Yorkshire is one of the safer places to live, we can’t be naïve in thinking serious violence doesn’t happen here – we know it does – and people across our county need to feel safe and be kept safe. 

“Together with our public sector partners, I have plans in place to implement a response strategy in York and North Yorkshire in line with the governments Serious Violence Duty, however to best serve the public we need to hear from them and so I encourage anyone who has experienced, witnessed or has opinions on serious violence to complete our new survey and inform discussions.” 

Chair of North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership, Assistant Chief Constable Scott Bisset said: “Serious violence ruins lives and communities and has a lasting and devastating impact on its victims. 

 “There are multiple and complex factors behind the cause and these cannot be addressed by the police alone. The Serious Violence Duty is a welcome piece of legislation that places a statutory obligation on multiple agencies to work together to address its underlying causes and builds on our existing collaborative work to protect our communities.   

 “In support of this work, it is really important that we gather the views of local people to fully understand how serious violence impacts on their lives and neighbourhoods, so I encourage everyone to complete the survey to help shape the future action plans of all the agencies involved.” 

Chair of Safer York Partnership, Detective Superintendent Fran Naughton said: “It’s vital that all agencies work together to address serious violence and its causes. Providing a platform for local people to have their say is really important and will ensure that we have the full picture to help inform the work of all partners. I urge everyone to complete the survey, please don’t lose this opportunity to tell us your experiences, and your views.” 

Chair of the North Yorkshire and York Serious Violence Working Group, Thomas Hirst, Area Manager and Director of Capabilities for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: Since the introduction of the Serious Violence Duty, we have established a Multi-Agency Working Group to support the collaboration and effective delivery of the Duty within North Yorkshire and the City of York. We are now at a point where we would like to hear your views and experiences. This information is essential to help support the direction and delivery of the working group, to protect and build resilience within your communities.” 

To request a paper copy of the survey please email info@northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk or write to Commissioning and Partnerships Team, Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Harrogate Police Station, Beckwith Head Road, HG3 1FR. 

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) can also be viewed as serious violence, however a separate survey focusing specifically on VAWG will be launched towards the end of July, and the public can be kept updated on this via the Commissioner’s website and social media channels.