The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Board have today (Tuesday, 8 September 2020), launched their area profile and response strategy documents.

The area profile and response strategy are documents researched and written by the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit as a condition of the £1.6m funding provided by the Home Office to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner to set up a violence reduction unit in South Yorkshire.

The area profile discusses the social determinants of life and looks at the causes of the causes of violence.  The social determinants of life are things like housing, employment, basic income, where we live, our environment, access to education, access to healthcare, our relationships, whether we are isolated, our relationship networks, community cohesion, social exclusion, poverty and deprivation.

The document also presents data on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma that children and young people may experience.  These include domestic abuse (with violence), substance misuse, a caregiver in prison, divorce and separation, caregivers who have mental health issues and with physical, mental and sexual abuse.

The area profile concludes that violence with injury in South Yorkshire is related to the following:

  • deprivation
  • development at age five
  • alcohol related harm

This means that people living in poverty, children with issues around speech, movement and toileting at the age of starting school and those with a dependency on alcohol are more likely to experience violence.

The area profile sets out 16 violence reduction priorities that have been agreed by the Violence Reduction Executive Board for all organisations working across the system in South Yorkshire.

Rachel Staniforth, Joint Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “The area profile includes data taken from information in the public domain that looks at a number of issues that will contribute to a person becoming involved in violence.

“There are many factors that will determine the opportunities for a young person and there is a complex relationship between risk and protective factors.  We can establish from the area profile the importance of protective factors at individual, relationship, community and societal level.  These are things like school readiness, secure attachment and stable relationships, a sense of belonging and connectedness and a high standard of living, including good quality housing, education and meaningful employment.

“It is for this reason we will work with organisations across South Yorkshire on the 16 violence reduction priorities.  These priorities include working to end domestic abuse, supporting people who misuse substances, working to ensure that children and young people have equal access to education and that their differing starting points are taken in to consideration and providing ways out for those already entrenched in violence.

The Community Safety Partnerships in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield are coordinating production of local violence reduction action plans to deliver the response strategy at a local level.  These plans identify local gaps and actions for improvement against the 16 violence reduction priorities, using the mechanisms identified in the response strategy. These plans will report to the Violence Reduction Executive Board.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Executive Board said: In South Yorkshire we are determined to see violence reduced.

“This is partly about police activity – and I will ensure that the police have all the resources they need to target those who resort to violence.  But this is not enough. We must also get upstream of violence happening and find ways of preventing people being drawn into it in the first place. This involves understanding where people may be exposed to violence or caught up in it.

“The first step to understanding this is to map the hot spots across South Yorkshire, which we have done with information from a range of organisations and agencies. The next steps are to understand what will work in stopping violence becoming ‘normal’ for individuals and communities. Together, over the next few years we will be working flat out to reduce the violence that all too often has disfigured the lives of individuals and communities alike.”

The area profile and response strategy have been written by Rachel Staniforth and Mike Parker, Performance Review Officer and are available on the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit website.

The documents have been loaded in to a special software package that will allow people to read the sections of interest to them and easily understand the data and content.  You can read the area profile by following this link – South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit Area Profile