Cleveland’s new violence reduction partnership has today (Friday 21 July 2023) launched a county-wide strategy to drive down violent crime and save lives.
Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence – or CURV – was established in 2022.
It was set up to develop a multi-agency partnership of key agencies responsible for reducing serious violence in the area.
This partnership has developed the CURV Response Strategy.
The Partnership includes representatives from police, local authorities, public health, the fire service, health, criminal justice agencies, as well as the voluntary and community sector.
The strategy will set out how the CURV partnership will meet their three key objectives in tackling violent crime:
- Reduction in hospital admissions as a result of assault with a sharp object;
- Reduction in police-recorded knife crime;
- Reduction in non-domestic homicide.
The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy asked local areas to take a ‘public health approach’ to reducing violent crime. That means they look to get upstream of violence and address the issues that cause people to offend.
In Cleveland, the four-prong approach will focus on:
- Research and evaluation – gathering information to help CURV tackle violent crime;
- Early intervention – trauma-informed work with children as young as pre-school to break inter-generational trends;
- Secondary and tertiary intervention – commissioning of criminal justice interventions for young people and adults (prioritising under 25s)
- Community engagement – involve young people and affected communities in the violence reduction agenda and ensure “You said – we did – change happened.”
The picture of violence in Cleveland
A significant research project informed the CURV strategy. Research aimed to understand the scale, nature and drivers of violent crime in Cleveland over the last five years.
The resulting Strategic Needs Assessment (SNA) found that violence predominantly takes place in concentrated hotspots and is committed by a small number of suspects.
Deprivation and school exclusion, high levels of domestic abuse and the drug trade have all been identified within the SNA to be key drivers of violent crime in Cleveland.
Head of CURV, John Holden MBE, said: “This strategy indicates the start of a new era in violence reduction in the Cleveland area. It’s at a time when it is needed more than ever.
“Sadly too many people in this area are still being seriously injured or killed in violent incidents. The statistics recently have been heading in the wrong direction.
“This strategy will seek to align the efforts of all agencies in Cleveland towards a preventative, public health approach to reducing levels of violence and saving lives.
“I want to be honest with communities that our primary focus right now is to stabilise the level of violence, before we start to see significant reductions – but that ultimately is our goal.John Holden OBE – Head of CURV
“It might take 10 to 15 years, but we’re committed to making lasting, sustainable change. This will benefit all communities across Cleveland.
Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner has made a commitment to reduce violence in his Police and Crime Plan.
He said: “I know a lot of work has gone into the research and development of this strategy. It will set out the overarching plan for reducing violent incidents in Cleveland.
“Through early intervention and preventative projects, we stand a good chance of reversing generational and societal trends to make communities less violent.”Read the CURV Strategic Needs Assessment Read the CURV Response Strategy