Community leaders, education, health organisations and charities came together on Wednesday 8 May for a Serious Violence Summit jointly hosted by Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Avon and Somerset Police in a bid to tackle serious violence.
The Home Office Serious Violence strategy, published in 2018, supports a new balance between prevention and effective law enforcement with a real focus on the importance of early intervention to tackle the root causes of the issue. Following the launch of the Home Office’s strategy, both the PCC and Avon and Somerset Police wanted to bring together organisations from across the force area to discuss challenges, approaches and solutions to keep communities safe.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: ““Agencies and communities need to work together to support our young people and create stronger communities. While the issue locally is not reflective of what is being seen nationally, serious violence is something that we cannot ignore. We have a duty to act now and create a less violent society.
“It is clear that police enforcement alone is not going to stop serious violence; we must take a holistic approach and work alongside other agencies to tackle this problem before it destroys any more communities, families and lives.”
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen added: “We have established partnership working in place across Avon and Somerset. By joining our resources and strengthening our approach we will achieve the same aim of protecting our communities from harm.”
Throughout the day, attendees heard:
- Police Scotland discuss One Glasgow and their approach to tackling violence in the city
- First-hand accounts from individuals who had been involved in serious violence, specifically County Lines and gangs
- Barnardo’s ROUTES Service explain the importance of early intervention
- Bristol City Council outline their response to serious violence
- Avon and Somerset Police discuss how County Lines is affecting Somerset
At the end of the summit, councils, charities, community leaders and the police made commitments to tackle violent crime in their area. Work is now underway on an Avon and Somerset wide serious violence strategy.
Posted on Thursday 9th May 2019