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20 February, 2024

Joint Serious Violence Strategy Published for York and North Yorkshire

Key partners from across York and North Yorkshire have come together to publish a Serious Violence Response Strategy (SVRS), assessing the current state of serious violence across our region and assigning key priorities to help combat it.

The Serious Violence Duty (SVD) introduced by the Home Office in January 2023 requires the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to convene key local partners to work in partnership to prevent and reduce serious violence that occurs in the local area.

In order to achieve this, North Yorkshire Police (NYP), North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (NYFRS), North Yorkshire Council (NYC), City of York Council (CYC), Probation Service Yorkshire and the Humber (PSYH), and the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), have been working together with the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) to produce a comprehensive Needs Assessment and Response Strategy for York and North Yorkshire.

In addition to the key partners listed above, consultation took place with relevant education and prison services, North Yorkshire Youth Commission and a public consultation via the OPFCC’s Serious Violence Survey and Violence Against Women and Girls Survey. These surveys helped to develop an understanding of how the public of North Yorkshire and York understand and perceive serious violence, and informed the strategy’s findings and suggested outcomes.

As a result of this work, the strategy has identified 5 key priorities to focus on in combatting serious violence across North Yorkshire and York:

  • Priority 1: Awareness Raising and Public Perception
  • Priority 2: Children and Young people – Under 18 (school age)
  • Priority 3: Possession and Use of Weapons
  • Priority 4: Alcohol, Violence and Night-time Economy (NTE)
  • Priority 5: Violence Against Women and Girls

The Partnership will now continue to work together to ensure the implementation and success of the strategy. This includes monitoring the delivery and impact of a number of prevention and early intervention-oriented projects, supported through the Serious Violence Duty Prevention and Early Intervention Fund.

Knife Drop Bins

The Knife Bins Project is 12-month pilot project currently being delivered within Harrogate, funded through the Serious Violence Duty Prevention and Early Intervention funding from the OPFCC.

The project aims to serve as a method of primary prevention, by allowing members of the public to properly dispose of knives, bladed articles, or sharp tools in a safe and anonymous way.


Inspire Youth Yorkshire

Inspire Youth Yorkshire provides a range of activities and support for vulnerable young people across North Yorkshire.

This includes projects aimed at both secondary and primary school-aged pupils, including a mobile youth base and rolling group session on the topic of serious violence.


Operation Night Safe Selby

Operation Night Safe is a new initiative in Selby Town Centre with visible patrols alongside a safe space and help for anyone who is out in the Night-time Economy.

The initiative will have visible staff in the form of Town Safety Officers, engaging with the public and focusing on early intervention and prevention.


The full strategy, which contains further detail about the nature of serious violence in North Yorkshire and the steps being taken by key partners to tackle it, can be found on the OPFCC website.



NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board’s (ICB) North Yorkshire Director, Wendy Balmain, and Director for York, Sarah Coltman-Lovell, said:

“We fully endorse a multi-agency approach towards tackling serious violence and we welcome the publication of the Serious Violence in North Yorkshire and York Strategic Needs Assessment 2023-24″.

They added: “The ICB is committed to working alongside our partners to identify the risk factors that increase the likelihood of violence, and how these factors can then be reduced through prevention, diversion, and early intervention.”


Zoë Metcalfe, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said:

“The Serious Violence Strategy is the result of an extensive and wide-ranging collaboration with key partners from across our region. For us to succeed in our aims of helping the people of York and North Yorkshire to be safe and feel safe, we first need to understand their concerns and perceptions about serious violence and set out priorities.

“However, while highlighting some key forms of crime that the public are concerned about, we should also celebrate the fact that North Yorkshire remains one of the safest places to live in the UK, and has pioneered some fantastic and innovative ways of preventing and identifying crime, to keep people safe, and feeling safe.”


Cllr Michael Pavlovic, Executive Member for Community Safety at City of York Council, said:

“While York is one of the safest cities in the UK, we are never complacent with working to prevent or address rare instances of serious violence. I welcome this regional strategic approach and look forward to working with the OPFCC and the new Mayor to deliver it to help make all York residents even safer.”


North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said: 

“The launch of the strategy is hugely welcomed. We will only make a difference to combat serious violence and build safer, heathier communities if we work as one.

“Violence devastates lives and although North Yorkshire is one of the safest places to live, we are not immune.

“We look forward to working together while listening and sharing an important step towards a strategy that will really make an impact and reflect the views of the people who best understand what works in the communities we serve.”


Detective Chief Superintendent Fran Naughton of North Yorkshire Police and Chair of Safer York Partnership said:

“Though North Yorkshire is one of the safest places to live, we cannot be complacent.  The reality is that serious violence has a devastating impact on victims, families, and communities across the country.”

“Our Strategic Needs Assessment pinpointed areas of concern, guiding our two-year plan to address serious violence and ensure community safety. The North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership and Safer York Partnership are proud to present the response strategy, aligning with the Government’s Serious Violence Duty to tackle Serious Violence across our county and help keep our communities safe and feeling safe.”