England: New public health duty to tackle serious violence

06 September 2019

Public bodies such as NHS trusts and schools are to be bound by a new legal duty to prevent and tackle serious violence.

The ‘public health duty’ will cover the police, local councils, local health bodies such as NHS trusts, education representatives and youth offending services in an attempt to improve collaborative working and intelligence-sharing, to tackle the root causes of serious violence including knife crime.

When the plans were first announced, then prime minister Theresa May made assurances that the duty will ‘hold organisations to account as opposed to individual teachers, nurses or other frontline professionals’.

Home secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘I’m confident that a public health approach and a legal requirement that make public agencies work together will create real long-term change.’


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