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Gloucestershire Business News

Report instigated by Police and Crime Commissioner points the way forward for tackling violent crime

A research project instigated by Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner has identified improvements that can be made to help prevent violent crime.

The largest research project of its kind ever conducted in Gloucestershire found that while the county has a lower-than-average rate of violent crime, improvements can be made.

Instigated by PCC Martin Surl as part of his commitment to enhance public safety through the multi-agency body, Safer Gloucestershire, the research was conducted with a public health approach.

Led by violence prevention coordinator Sophie Jarrett, it showed that violent crime accounts for 27 per cent of all offences committed in the county.

That number is lower than other similarly-sized counties like Wiltshire, West Mercia and Cambridgeshire.

The report acknowledges that violent crime covers a broad range of offences with varying levels of seriousness, but that regardless of the offence type, the impact of violence can be significant.

That has led to a desire to take action to prevent violence with a focus on ensuring early identification and support for those with mental health conditions.

Ensuring children and young adults remain in education and identifying support for those with special educational needs is also one of the recommendations.

The report also calls for positive engagement with substance misuse services and support for parents and also support for children who witness domestic abuse in the home.

It also identifies that any solution will not be a 'one-size-fits-all' and that a multi-agency approach will be needed to address the issue of violent crime.

Violence prevention coordinator, Sophie Jarrett who led the research said: "This research has been conducted to ensure the local response to violent crime addresses the underlying factors that increase violence, and ensures we take an evidence-based approach locally.

"Preventing violence is a long-term plan and should focus on early intervention and prevention of risk factors before problems begin to emerge.

"A multi-agency response that includes engagement with the community is essential."

Chair of Safer Gloucestershire and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Chris Brierley, whose office funded the research project, says: "This report, for me, enforces the view that we do live and work in a safe county. But like everywhere, crime and violent crime is on the increase.

"But we are not going to arrest our way out of this, as the public health approach to this research has shown, there are many societal issues and risks that are factors contributing to violence.

"While the county has some really good provision there is always room for improvement and this report helps us to establish the areas where we need to do more."

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