Public Health Duty

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has welcomed the announcement of a new legal duty on public bodies to prevent and tackle serious violence.

Announced by the Home Office, the new ‘public health duty’ will cover the police, local councils, education representatives, youth offending services and local health bodies such as NHS Trusts.

It will ensure that relevant services work together to share data, intelligence and knowledge to understand and address the root causes of serious violence including knife crime. It will also allow them to target their interventions to prevent and reduce violence.

An amended Crime and Disorder Act will ensure that serious violence is an explicit priority for Community Safety Partnerships, which include local police, fire and probation services, by making sure they have a strategy in place to tackle violent crime.

Mr Cuthbert said: “I welcome this announcement as the scale and complexity of the issues that underpin serious violence are beyond the scope of any one particular agency. A multi-agency approach provides an essential platform for information sharing and joined-up strategic partnership working.

“We may have varying local challenges in each of our individual areas, but serious violence and its consequences impacts on entire communities. This is a Wales-wide issue. It is a national issue. No single agency can resolve this alone.

“Our experiences in Gwent have shown that opportunities to share information and work closely with partners have proven positive in tackling and preventing serious violence. Our multi-agency work, jointly funded by the Home Office and Gwent OPCC, has seen positive and effective collaboration in the Newport Serious Organised Crime pilot project. The same is true of the All-Wales Early Action Together project around adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

“All of these projects are helping to grow models of partnership work focusing on prevention and intervention, community resilience and strategic communications.

“I am confident that with the commitment of appropriate resources – time, people, money – and through strategic prevention and intervention work, we can make a significant difference together.”

For more information about the new legal duty, go to www.gov.uk/government/news/new-public-health-duty-to-tackle-serious-violence