A collaborative approach to reducing and preventing violence in Croydon will be at the heart of the borough’s new community safety strategy.
The process of developing the new three-year-strategy was agreed at a meeting of the Safer Croydon Partnership Board on Tuesday and will cement the holistic, public health approach to reducing violence currently adopted by the council’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN).
A new strategic assessment published today by the VRN analysed crime data and anti-social behaviour in Croydon over the last three years. It identified several common themes and factors of violence which will drive the new strategy and be the focus of future public engagement, which will ensure the borough’s communities and those directly impacted by different types of violence – including victims, their families and perpetrators – are at the strategy’s core.
Views, experiences and ideas will be sought from residents, communities and partners, including those from the voluntary sector involved in violence and safety work, to ensure a diverse range of voices, experiences and representatives of Croydon’s community contribute to the development of the strategy, which is expected to go through the council’s governance process next spring and be adopted in late 2021.
Tackling domestic abuse will be a key focus, after data showed the crime has and continues to be a key driver in other forms of violence in the borough. The statistics show the offence not only impacts the victim themselves, but is also a common factor in the lives of a number of young people who become high risk of serious youth violence.
Other themes to be discussed and considered as part of the strategy’s development include protecting young people from violence and exploitation; disproportionality within the criminal justice system and the impact this has on how they experience violence; and resilience, trauma and trust, which will explore the protective factors in individuals and communities.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities
“To make a significant impact and reverse the year-on-year rise in crime Croydon has seen over the last three years, we must continue our borough wide multi-agency partnership working. We must also strengthen it further by working directly with more community groups, and in particular those affected by crime, as part of our efforts.
“This collaborative approach – engaging with a wide range of residents and professionals on key themes including domestic violence, serious youth violence and disproportionality in the criminal justice system, coupled with using data to identify patterns and trends – will not only enable us to gain a better understanding of the key issues and how they impact on violence in Croydon, but to develop a strategic approach that evolves to really address the actions needed to reduce crime.”