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What is the Serious Violence Duty?

In January 2023, the Government introduced a statutory duty, known as The Serious Violence Duty.

It requires “specified authorities for a local government area to work together and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence, including identifying the kinds of serious violence that occur in the area, the causes of that violence, and to prepare and implement a strategy for preventing, and reducing serious violence in the area”. You can find out more about the Serious Violence Duty here.

The Lancashire VRN has been developing arrangements to meet the Serious Violence Duty in Lancashire, working with key partners across the county to prepare and assess how it fits in with our existing prevention work.

The duty drives partnership activity to:

  • Work together to consult on and products a Strategic Needs Assessment that focusses on risk and protective factors for serious violence, including those cohorts who are particularly vulnerable.
  • Work together to consult on and produce a Response Strategy detailing how partners will collaborate to reduce risk and improve protection for vulnerable communities and specific at-risk cohorts.
  • Regularly review these knowledge products to ensure benefits are being realised.
  • The Duty also amends the responsibilities of Community Safety Partnerships to ensure that they too focus on serious violence prevention activity within their local plans. 


 Director of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, Susannah Clarke said:

“Serious violence can affect anyone, and the impact is not just on the individuals involved, but their families, friends, and the wider community. We understand that serious violence cannot be tackled by one organisation alone, the Serious Violence Duty is a positive step towards jointly reducing serious violence in our communities and we fully support the whole system approach. 

As the Violence Reduction Network, we play a pivotal role in coordinating this activity and have recently appointed a Serious Violence Coordinator role to help bring agencies and organisations together. As an organisation, we remain committed to taking a prevention and early intervention approach to improve the safety and wellbeing of people in our communities.” 

 Find out more about how we are already contributing to the Serious Violence Duty through our existing projects here 


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