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Despite overall crime falling in the last two decades, serious violent crime has been increasing steadily since 2014; including homicide, threats to kill, robbery and knife-enabled crime.

The Home Office has promised £35 million in grants to PCCs and Mayors to establish ‘violence reduction units’ or VRUs. This is based on the success of cities such as Chicago and Glasgow, as part of a ‘public health approach’ to tackling serious violence.

Crest worked with the London Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to build the case for a violence reduction unit in the capital by developing a strategic needs assessment based on rapid, robust analysis of what was driving violence. We are committed to helping other cities, towns and regions across England and Wales to better understand the causes violence in their communities and to develop strategies which tackle them and reduce harm.

72%

53,000

of homicide suspects in London in 2017 had previously been a victim of crime

increase in incidences of violence with injury against 10 to 15-year-olds over the last year

Crest is embarking on an ambitious two year programme of work around the causes of violence - investigating the underlying drivers of serious violence and testing the potential for implementation of more problem-oriented, preventative approaches.

This is a matter of national concern - and rightly so. Despite overall crime having fallen in the last two decades, some of the most serious types of violent crime have been increasing steadily since 2014.

Unpicking such a complex picture is not straightforward. We are already working in partnership with a number of police forces and PCCs but are keen to develop a stronger understanding of local drivers in local areas and opportunities for change. If you’re interested in your area getting involved, please get in touch with Head of Strategy and Insight, Sarah Kincaid.

Latest insights

Serious Violence: the Crest Briefing

Related links

"Combined investment in a public health, community-based approach to violence prevention and a criminal justice approach focused on deterrence can achieve more to reduce population-level rates of urban violence than either can in isolation."

An evaluation of New York City's Cure Violence programme, January 2018

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