Serious Violence Duty Strategy - 4. Action to prevent and reduce serious violence

4.1    Strategic objectives

Taking account of the Strategic Needs Assessment and the consultation responses below, the local partnership has agreed the following strategic objectives for the next 12 months to prevent and reduce serious violence:

  • Engage young people who are vulnerable to violence and exploitation in meaningful and accessible support
  • Deliver early intervention initiatives and diversion activities to prevent violence
  • Improve support for victims both within and outside of the criminal justice system
  • Enhance our collaborative partnership network to improve information and data sharing 
  • Deliver crime prevention and reduction strategies in our town centres and other key areas 
  • Improve the safety of public spaces particularly where there have been reports of sexual violence
  • Help build trust and confidence between our communities, young people and statutory services

4.2    Engagement with the voluntary and community sectors, young people and local business

Hammersmith & Fulham Council recognises that in order to tackle violence there  has  to be a holistic and integrated approach with the community, the voluntary and community sector (VCS), local businesses and young people. This has also been recognised as best practise by the Violence Reduction Unit.

Our local violence and vulnerability action plan contains a range of activities that involves communities and neighbourhoods in reducing violence and the actions within will support the strategy.

For example, via the funding of the Violence Reduction Unit’s community capacity building grants, we have delivered a number of projects with full integration with the community and VCS partners which have included:

-    Parent/ Carer Listening Sessions 
-    Harrow Club Late Night Project 
-    Rebel Records 
-    Residential Trips hosted by Harrow Club

Through the projects, we listened to each other and brought in training and additional projects that enabled us to respond and tackle youth violence and understand the causes of it (mental health and childhood trauma). A similar approach will continue to be used as part of this strategy. 

Consultation with voluntary and community sector partners

In developing this strategy, we have consulted with voluntary and community sector partners to ensure the key role they play in reducing serious violence is considered in our approach.  

A survey and workshop were conducted to engage partners on the current provision of services and discuss what partners felt could be achieved with additional funding.

Organisations that participated in the survey and workshop include Gangs, Violence and Exploitation Unit, Harrow Club, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence (STADA), Metropolitan Police, Fulham Good Neighbours, The Violence Intervention Project, W12 shopping centre, Hammersmith BID, West Youth Zone, The VIP, Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Services, Youth Justice Service, NHS Mental Health Services, Probation Services, On Side Youth Zones, and Advance,

The survey asked respondents to rate the current level of provision for, reducing violence and exploitation affecting young people, tackling domestic abuse, and sexual violence in Hammersmith & Fulham. Respondents rated the provision of services for sexual violence the lowest.

Ratings for current level of provision of services

(Provision of services for reducing violence and exploitation – 3.53 out of 5. Provision of service for domestic abuse was rated 3.46 out of 5. Provision of services for sexual violence was rated 2.92 out of 5.)

In the consultation workshop partners were asked what their organisation could do to support the partnership in reducing serious violence, the key themes are shown below.

What organisations could do to support the partnership in reducing serious violence
  • Preventing silo working
  • Colocation of services
  • Better communication with service users
  • Better publicity of services available
  • Improved information sharing
  • Early intervention  

In both the consultation workshop and survey, respondents were asked what additional support was needed to reduce the level of serious violence and what gaps there were in the current provision of services. An overview of responses is shown below.

Additional support needed and gaps in the current provision of services - an overview of responses
Support needed across all areas of serious violence  
  • Create a more flexible and easy to use referral system
  • Work with parents/carers as soon as possible
  • Additional resources for marginalised communities
  • Longer term funding
  • Improved trust and confidence in the police
  • Improved lighting to ensure safer surroundings
  • Increased number of safe spaces
  • Better partnership working
  • Focus resources on hot spot areas
Support needed for young people effected by serious violence
  • Diversionary activities
  • Early intervention for families and children
  • Specialised support for young women involved in gangs
Support needed for sexual violence and domestic abuse
  • Support for vulnerable individuals including those who are homeless, substance users or suffering with their mental health
  • Longer term therapeutic responses for those affected by violence, particularly focusing on mental health and substance misuse
  • Support for young people in abusive relationships
  • Training staff to recognise, understand and assist when recognising signs of Domestic Abuse /Sexual Violence and violence
  • Funding for perpetrator programmes
  • Support for Nighttime economy venues

Consultation with young people

A key priority of the H&F Youth Council’s Manifesto is to keep young people safe. The youth council have conducted their own research through consultations, workshops with young people and a range of focus group sessions to develop an understanding of which initiatives will help make young people feel safer. This research has also been used to inform our strategy.

A consultation workshop also took place with Hammersmith & Fulham Youth Council to directly discuss the serious violence duty strategy.

Through the workshop and research completed by the Youth Council the key areas that young people have said makes them feel safe are listed in the table below.

Key areas that young people have said makes them feel safe
  • Good lighting in areas
  • Safe places to socialise
  • More understanding on how young people can report crime anonymously
  • How to report domestic abuse
  • Walk in support services, available at suitable times for young people
  • Education on healthy relationships

During the workshop the Youth Council were also asked if there were any places in the borough that they felt unsafe. Their responses were Shepherds Bush Green, alleyways, and quieter roads. Research carried out as part of the strategic assessment showed that young people also felt unsafe on public transport, and in parks and playgrounds. 

The Youth Council members were asked what impact they felt youth violence, sexual violence and domestic abuse had on their community. The lists below shows the themes that were highlighted.

Impact that youth council members felt violence had on their community
Youth violence 
  • Young people lack trust and confidence in the police
  • Lack of support for young people that have reported crimes
  • Fear of repercussions if young people report a crime to the police
  • Violence and crime are being normalised particularly due to social media and popular culture
Sexual violence  
  • Catcalling might seem small but can have a large impact on young girls
  • More information and advice needs to be delivered to schools on types of sexual violence and support available
  • More education in schools on highlighting incorrect and unacceptable language used in popular culture and social media
Domestic abuse   
  • Domestic abuse is seen as a taboo subject and is not talked about enough
  • More advice in schools for young victims of domestic abuse
  • More awareness of what domestic abuse is and what it can look like

Consultation surveys were also completed by young people engaged with the Youth Justice Service (YJS). Young people were asked which of the following initiatives would have the greatest impact on making them feel safe in the borough. The options were higher police presence, more CCTV, well-lit areas, safer spaces and greater youth provision. Over 55% of young people said youth provision (Youth club and activities) was their first choice. The second highest rated was safer spaces, followed by well-lit areas. More CCTV and more police presence were not ranked highly. This echoes the feedback that was given by H&F Youth Council.

Initiatives would have the greatest impact on making young people feel safe in the borough


1st choice

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

Last choice

Higher police presence












Well lit areas






Safer spaces (places that you can go to when you feel at risk)






Youth Provision (youth clubs and activities)






Young people engaged with YJS were asked where they felt money should be invested to reduce youth violence. An examples of responses are below.

Where young people felt money should be invested  
  • Free sports and youth clubs, many families cannot afford to attend.
  • Engage young people who have been affected by youth violence in decision making.
  • Have more activity centres especially during half term and holidays that have age-appropriate activities that are of interest to young people.
  • Raise awareness on knife crime and the impacts of carrying weapons for protection.
  • More money spent on intervention programmes, like knife crime workshops.
  • More knife banks and raise awareness on how young people can deposit a knife without fear of prosecution.

YJS users were asked what their biggest fear was whilst in Hammersmith & Fulham. The most common answer was robberies, but also included police presence demonstrating the lower level of confidence between young people and the police.

The YJS cohort were asked if there were any areas in the borough that they felt particularly unsafe. Responses included Shepherds Bush Green and estates such as The Townmead Estate and White City.

4.3    Continuing engagement

Engagement with young people

We have spoken to the Youth Council during development of this strategy and their input will continue as we deliver the strategy over the next 12 months.

Hammersmith & Fulham’s Onside Youth Zone Team are keen to collaborate with the local authority and we will attend the Young Peoples Development Group meetings with the aim to meet all young people that sit on this panel and introduce the projects that are currently available and will be upcoming. Future discussions will allow us to extend our discussions on their thoughts and perspectives in tackling serious violence and exploitation affecting young people under the age of 25.

Engagement with partners

The responsibilities of the Serious Violence Duty have been discussed at the Safeguarding Adults Board and the Safeguarding Children’s Partnership. Updates will continue to be given at these forums in addition to quarterly to the Community Safety Partnership. We recognise the important role that businesses play in serious violence reduction and the duty has been discussed at the Town Centre forums in Shepherd’s Bush Green and Hammersmith Broadway.

4.4    Violence and vulnerability reduction action plan

The partnership has agreed a range of activity to reduce the risks of violence and vulnerability, in support of the strategic objectives. These are set out within a Violence and Vulnerability Reduction Action Plan.

The plan template contains seven different themes each with a set of mandatory actions as well as a menu of optional actions. The themes within the local plan are:

  1. Governance - this provides an oversight of the leadership and governance of violence reduction locally, detailing the senior leadership structure as well as interoperability between Community Safety Partnership, Safeguarding Children Partnership, Adults Safeguarding Board and the Health and Wellbeing Board, to support a public health approach to reduce violence
  2. Analysis and Enforcement - understanding of how analysis and local enforcement tactics are used to disrupt violence locally, including the Strategic Needs Assessment, monthly tasking meetings and using wider public health data
  3. Reducing Access to Weapons - how partners are working jointly to minimise access including using Trading Standard initiatives and weapons sweeps
  4. Safeguarding and Educating Young people - contains actions that include focussing on reducing exclusions, contextual safeguarding, support for children in care and care leavers, working with parents and carers and ensuring schools are safe and inclusive spaces
  5. Working with Communities and Neighbourhoods to Reduce Violence - ensuring that local delivery works closely with communities to reduce violence including the Voluntary and Community Sector and in particular young people, who are most adversely affected by violence
  6. Supporting Victims of Violence and Vulnerability - ensuring co-ordinated referral and support to victims and those who are most vulnerable to being exploited
  7. Positive Diversion from Violence - recognising that children and young people should be offered interventions which help them before or to move away from criminality

As the serious violence definition includes domestic abuse and sexual violence, activity is also being undertaken in support of this through a range of actions, this has included modifying existing actions to encompass this (where relevant) as well as including a new section of actions listed below.

The domestic abuse and sexual violence specific actions are:

  • To ensure strong referral pathways from statutory services into local and pan-London specialist support services, including ‘by and for’ provision for all victims of domestic abuse and sexual offences
  • To ensure all victims and perpetrators can access the support they need- including information on how they can access this support and where they can find more information. This might include the consideration of cross-borough reciprocal agreements
  • Co-ordinate an appropriate local awareness training offer for key professionals coming in to contact with survivors and/or perpetrators- such as health, education, social care and justice- which is refreshed annually
  • Local Authority departments such as children's social care, housing, adults social care and community safety, to ensure policies are in place regarding working with perpetrators of domestic abuse and sexual offences when safeguarding children and the non-abusive parent

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