ROYAL BOROUGH OF GREENWICH SERIOUS VIOLENCE STRATEGY cover. Photos of Cllr Cousins, enforecement officers, and the Her Centre team accepting a cheque.

Published: Thursday, 8th February 2024

To help everyone in Royal Greenwich feel safer by preventing and reducing serious violence, the Council has published its Serious Violence Strategy.

The Serious Violence Strategy outlines and builds upon the joined up work the Council already does with its partners through the Safer Greenwich Partnership (that includes the MET Police, NHS and National Probation Service amongst others) to analyse the causes of serious violence locally and to adopt a public health approach, with a focus on prevention and early intervention.

Councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement, said: “No one should have to experience, or live in fear of violence, and preventing it is a key priority for Council and the Safer Greenwich Partnership. Our Serious Violence Strategy paints an honest picture of the types of violence in our borough, but it also builds on years of tireless partnership working and many achievements so far (such as our Safehaven Superhubs and Anti-Knife Crime campaign) to reduce serious violence, improve everyone’s quality of life, and make Royal Greenwich a safer place to be.”

Serious violence has many causes and the Council has adopted a public health approach in its responses to prevent and reduce violence. This means the Council aims to improve the health and safety of residents by addressing underlying risk factors that increase the likelihood that someone will become a victim or a perpetrator of violence.

For example, 93 percent of children involved in the youth justice diversion programme had experienced abuse, neglect or dysfunction (Adverse Childhood Experiences). Part of our delivery plan is to undertake a borough wide study to explore ways to reduce risks linked with serious violence and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

This Serious Violence Strategy has been produced as part of the requirements of the Serious Violence Duty placed on local authorities under the Government's Serious Violence Duty introduced by the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

Alongside the Strategy, the Council has developed a Strategic Needs Assessment which is an analysis of data relating to violence, deprivation and health in the borough. This provides a greater understanding of current and emerging serious violence trends, priority locations or other high-risk issues.

The Serious Violence Strategy’s objectives for year ahead...  

  1. Prevent young people from being drawn into violence or exploitation as either victims or perpetrators. 
  2. Support young people already involved in violence or exploitation to sustain positive behaviour. 
  3. Prevent and stop violence and exploitation through disruption and enforcement. 
  4. Safeguard locations where the risk of violence or exploitation is higher, by working with communities and partners to address concerns. 
  5. Engage with communities to build confidence, resilience and trust in services ability and commitment to respond to community concerns. 
  6. Address inequality and ensure fair access to culturally relevant support and services. 
  7. Ensure the use of services appropriate to victims’ needs and that front line staff are confident to identify and support victims, including use of referral pathways to enable victims to benefit from specialist services. 
  8. Ensure robust arrangements are in place to lead and monitor progress of the strategy and to adjust delivery to meet changing needs.  

To read the Serious Violence Strategy and the Strategic Needs Assessment, or to access support services visit 

Notes to editor   

The Safer Greenwich Partnership (SGP) brings together organisations to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

The statutory members are the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Metropolitan Police Service, London Fire Brigade, National Probation Service and the NHS South East London Integrated Care Board. Members of the SGP by invitation are the British Transport Police, Charlton Athletic Community Trust, HM Prisons Belmarsh and Thameside and HMP/YOI Isis, Metro Greenwich Action for Voluntary Service (GAVS), Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Registered Housing Providers, Greenwich Safer Neighbourhoods Board, Victim Support London and Greenwich Neighbourhood Watch Network.

Associate members (receiving meeting papers and attending as needed) are the Greater London Assembly Member for Royal Greenwich, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and the Woolwich Royal Artillery Barracks.

Findings from the Strategic Needs Assessment

  • A higher rate of serious violence was found in areas of deprivation, surrounding areas of town and some housing estates.
  • There has been a 15% increase in knife offences committed from 2021 to 2022 with a rapid rise in knife-point robberies where both victim and suspect are disproportionately young men.
  • Ninety-three percent of children involved in the youth justice diversion programme had experienced at least one form of Adverse Childhood Experience (abuse, neglect or family disfunction).
  • Women and girls in the borough remain the most affected by sexual violence and domestic abuse. Two in every five victims of sexual offences (excluding rape) were under 18.
  • Many young people arrested for involvement in drug supply state that they have been manipulated or coerced into doing so.