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What we did

Our Strategic Needs Assessment helps us to understand the causes, impact and trends of serious violence in our borough.

Download our Strategic Needs Assessment

The assessment summarises the latest data and evidence relating to 6 areas of analysis. They are: 

  • place and population 

  • risk and protective factors 

  • violence and exploitation 

  • domestic abuse 

  • sexual violence 

  • community voice.

It also reviews existing evidence, shows how we and our partners are currently using our resources and how we might do so in the future.  

The assessment made 15 recommendations across 4 areas: 

  • Place. 

  • Children and young people.

  • Improving data quality and expanding localised research. 

  • Ending violence against women and girls (VAWG). 

Read the recommendations on pages 4 to 10 of our Strategic Needs Assessment

Summary of key findings 

Deprived areas of the borough have been hotspots for serious violence over the last two decades. 

Serious violence is more common in areas surrounding our town centres, other places with high footfall and some estates. 

Violence affecting younger people (under 25) 

There were 48 more knife offences across 2021 to 2022 - a 15% increase. Knife-point robberies also increased where both victims and suspects are disproportionately young men. 

47 individuals linked to the borough were involved in County Lines, many of whom have mental health needs or other issues that make them vulnerable to being exploited. But most serious violence committed in the borough is not linked to gangs or County Lines. 

Up to July 2023, 93% of the children engaged with the Youth Justice diversion programme had experienced at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs). These are various experiences of abuse, neglect or family disfunction. 

Sexual violence

Female victims of sexual assault, voyeurism and upskirting are younger.

2 in every 5 victims of sexual offences, not including rape, were under 18 across 2021 to 2022.

18% of sexual offences were noted by police as domestic abuse, yet they accounted for 36% of all rape offences across 2021 to 2022. 

Domestic abuse

Non-physical forms of intimidation, coercive behaviour and harassment underpin physically violent crime as some of the most prevalent domestic abuse offence types.

Community voice

Travelling at night and in the dark were the main reasons women and girls felt unsafe. 

Three of the main recommendations from the consultation with residents were: 

  • re-prioritising or expanding the Street Lighting Upgrade Programme 

  • deterring poor male behaviour with public awareness 

  • campaigns in educational settings and workplaces. 

Of those who witness serious violence, public consultation findings show most residents witness 1 to 4 incidents per month. Personal robbery, violence against the person or towards property were witnessed the most.