ORGANISATIONS across Merseyside have joined together to launch a new plan to tackle serious violence.

On Friday, February 9 the new Merseyside Serious Violence Duty Strategy was launched to prevent and reduce serious violence across the region.

Overseen by the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Emily Spurrell, the strategy details how Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, the region’s five local authorities, NHS Merseyside and Cheshire, and the prisons and probation service will take a public health approach to preventing serious violence.

Emily Spurrell, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Our region has come a long way in reducing and preventing serious violence in recent years. Gun crime, knife crime and all serious violence offences have decreased significantly. 

“This is hugely welcome, but there is still more we can all do.

“The launch of this Serious Violence Duty Strategy is important because it sets out our ongoing commitment to working together to prevent and tackle serious violence and the harm it causes, preventing families from suffering the devastation and harm it brings.

“Anyone can be affected by serious violence and sadly, our region is no stranger to the life-changing consequences – for victims, relatives, loved ones, friends and witnesses – when tragedies occur. That’s what drives us to work even harder and why prevention is essential. 

“To deliver lasting change, we must get upstream, intervene early, and stop violence from happening in the first place. By working together, I firmly believe we can continue to build a safer, stronger Merseyside, free from violence and the fear of violence.”

There will then be sessions focusing on best practice featuring Liverpool City Council’s Serious Violence Community Forum and Wirral Council on the work of EVOLVE in their areas, which sees the PCC and police working with partner and residents to disrupt and deter organised crime and protect communities, as well as a panel discussion, before representatives will pledge their commitment to delivering the new Strategy.

The 68-page Strategy is the product of extensive consultation carried out in 2023 and demonstrates the commitment from organisations, known as ‘specified authorities’ to meet their requirements under the Serious Violence Duty which came into effect in January.

The Duty requires organisations to work together to share information, collaborate and plan to prevent and reduce serious violence within their local communities. 

To achieve this, the Strategy sets out eight core principles which will be at the heart of this work, with a real focus on community cohesion - empowering communities to make sure they have a voice and are actively involved in addressing and solving the issues that matter to them. This includes equipping people to develop new skills and deliver interventions which are long-term sustainable; delivered by communities for communities. 

Progress against the objectives will be overseen by the Merseyside Strategic Policing and Partnerships Board (MSPPB) chaired by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the plan will be refreshed annually to ensure it is responsive to local need.