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What is Serious Violence?

The Home Office Definition

The Home Office serious violence strategy defines serious violence as specific types of crime such as homicide, knife crime, and gun crime and areas of criminality where serious violence or its threat is inherent, such as in gangs and county lines drug dealing. It also includes emerging crime threats faced in some areas of the country such as the use of corrosive substances as a weapon.

Avon and Somerset Serious Violence Overview

Avon and Somerset VRU have excluded certain high harm offences, such as child neglect, from their overview of serious violence because it is believed that the underlying factors that drive them are different and will therefore require a different response.

Pre VRU funding the OPCC commissioned Behavioural Insights to deliver an independent assessment of what Serious Violence looked like in Avon and Somerset. It was agreed with partners that this would include:

• County Lines
• Criminality where serious violence or its threat is inherent
• Exploitation where serious violence or its threat is inherent
• Gun Crime
• Homicide
• Sexual or Domestic Violence (including serious sexual assault or rape)
• Violence Against the Person (VAP)
• Violence in the Night-time Economy
• Violence with a Weapon

To capture Avon and Somerset’s priority and high-risk areas of demand around quantifiable serious violence, offences for the VRU’s central definition of serious violence include:

  • Aggravated Burglary
  • Homicide
  • Serious Sexual Offences
  • Robbery
  • Violence Against the Person
    (further categorised by ‘violence with injury’ and ‘violence without injury’)

The nature of the hub/spoke model allows for each VRU to amend this definition that reflects issues in their areas.

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