The Serious Violence Duty brings partners together to collaborate and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence.

The Duty was created by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 which came into effect on 31st January 2023.

As a result of the Duty, 'specified authorities' including the local authorities, police , Fire and Rescue Authorities, the Probation Service, Youth Offending Teams and Integrated Care Boards have a statutory responsibility to prevent people from becoming involved in, and to reduce instances of, serious violence. 

Information sharing is also a core element of the Serious Violence Duty. It places a requirement on services to work together to share data and knowledge, enabling them them to better target their interventions to prevent serious violence.

Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is assisting the specified authorities with implementing the Duty and is responsible for monitoring progress.

How it works

The PCC is working collaboratively with the 'specified authorities'  and the wider partnership, including the Merseyside's Violence Reduction Partnership to deliver a co-ordinated approach across the region.

This includes agreeing a local partnership arrangement to lead on the delivery of the Duty, agreeing a definition of serious violence, and undertaking an evidence-based analysis to identify the kinds of serious violence that occur in the area and its causes.

This analysis has been used to develop a local Strategic Needs Assessment (SNA) which in turn has helped shape our Serious Violence Duty Strategy for preventing and reducing serious violence locally.

Launched in January 2024 following an extensive consultation, this Strategy sets out it sets out our ongoing commitment to working together with the shared goal of preventing and tackling serious violence and the harm it causes, preventing families from suffering the devastation and harm it brings.

A summary of the Serious Violence Duty Strategy is available here.

Image of the Serious Violence Duty Strategy on a pageAlternatively, read the full Merseyside Serious Violence Duty Strategy.

Plans for how this strategy will be delivered have been developed for each of our five Local Authority areas:

All of these documents helped to inform our region-wide strategy for how we will work as a partnership to prevent serious violence.

The Serious Violence Duty comes with a small amount of funding which PCCs can use on strategy development and to commission interventions which can help to deliver the Duty.

Who must comply with the Duty?

The Duty requires the following specified authorities within a local Government area to collaborate and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence:

  • Police
  • Probation Services
  • Youth Offending Teams
  • Fire and Rescue
  • Health (Integrated Care Boards in England)
  • Local Authorities

Under the legislation, educational, prison and/or youth custody authorities will also be able to co-operate with the specified authorities. They are known as 'relevant authorities'.

Relevant authorities must be consulted by the specified authorities in the preparation of the strategy, and a strategy may specify an action to be carried out by these authorities. Additionally, the relevant authority must collaborate with specified authorities to prevent and reduce serious violence in the local area if their involvement is requested.

See the Statutory Guidance for responsible authorities