‘We’re all well aware violent crime is on the increase’: Plans for summit to tackle increasing levels of violent crime in Hartlepool
Plans have been laid out for organisations in Hartlepool to come together to tackle increasing levels of violent crime.
Proposals were passed by the Safer Hartlepool Partnership to take a ‘public health approach’ to tackling the issue, which will involve the setting up of a violent crime research group.
It comes after figures showed there was 3,624 offences involving violence against a person in the town in 2017/18, an increase on the 2,648 incidents in 2016/17.
The majority of the crimes were assault, with 1,926 incidents in 2017/18 and 1,730 in 2016/17, and in 45% of incidents a weapon was used by the offender.
The research group will produce a report on the topic and a violent crime summit is planned for over the summer, before an action plan is agreed to look at tackling the issue.
The group will involves members from across bodies such as the council, police, health organisations and more.
Denise McGuckin, council director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said Hartlepool has a high level of violent crime that is continuing to increase, and action needs to be taken.
She said: “I think we’re all well aware violent crime is on the increase. Hartlepool unfortunately is not different to any other town and has experienced a number of murders recently.
“We seem to, as generations go by, accept violence more than we did, certainly more than when I was a young girl.
“We recognise as a council we can’t do all this, neither can police on their own, we need to do it as a collective.”
Community safety team officers looked at best examples from across the country to tackle the issue and noted areas such as Glasgow and Strathclyde, which have taken a public health approach, have made ‘great inroads’.
The project will take a four step approach looking at defining the problem, identifying the causes, designing interventions and implementing them.
Work will involve analysing issues such as the gender and ages of perpetrators and victims, whether drugs or alcohol were involved and what happened to those involved.
Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher backed the move and said he was pleased to see the work being carried out.
He said: “If we take a public health perspective to really delve under the rationale behind what’s happened and see what’s happening, from my point of view it would be welcomed.”
A violent crime research report is expected to be produced by June 2019, followed by a violent crime summit between organisations later in the summer and an action plan being produced by September.
Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service.