This month we were pleased to see the Children’s Society’s briefing on the potential of taking a public health approach to reducing serious youth violence. The Children’s Society briefing outlines a concern that the emphasis on criminal justice responses in the Serious Violence Strategy may be narrowly punitive and does not take into consideration the safeguarding of children and young people, and some of the wider drivers of serious youth violence.
Our report on public health approaches to reducing serious violence for the Local Government Association shows the possible benefits of the public health approach. There is a growing recognition that addressing violence is not a single agency issue, as it is the culmination of many different causes. It is only by pursuing a strategic, coordinated approach involving a range of agencies, including partnerships between statutory and voluntary organisations, that violent crime can be effectively addressed.
Although there are different ways to reduce violent behaviour, a public health approach is being increasingly discussed, using an evidence-led methodology to reduce and prevent violence in communities. Our report for the LGA which can be accessed here provides an overview of: (1) what the public health approach is to reducing violence, (2) what public health approaches tell us about reducing violence, and (3) provides examples of interventions and models that may reduce violence.