Making Hounslow safe

Serious Violence Duty


We are working hard to keep our community safe.

In line with the Serious Violence Duty introduced by government in 2022, we are committed to preventing and reducing serious violence. We do this collaboratively; the council, the police, the NHS, the probation service and the fire brigade all work together to implement plans and oversee the Duty. We meet formally as a Community Safety Partnership Board. Our local community – residents, businesses and the voluntary and community sector – along with colleagues from local public services like schools and prisons, are critical to this work. We know that taking a long-term, preventative approach involves all of us.

The Serious Violence Duty requires us to publish a serious violence strategy. To avoid duplication and confusion with multiple plans, we will include this as part of our refreshed Hounslow Safer Communities Strategy. This document provides an update on serious violence in the meantime.

What is serious violence?

Any violence and exploitation affecting young people under the age of 25, domestic abuse, and sexual violence. Within the context of these types of violence, it encompasses homicide, grievous bodily harm, actual bodily harm, rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, personal robbery, threats to kill and violence against property caused during the commission of one of these offences.

What does serious crime look like in Hounslow?

We have undertaken a strategic needs assessment to understand serious crime trends in the borough.

Serious violence affecting under-25s

There were just over 1,300 offences in 2022/23, nearly half of which were actual bodily harm. A small number (9%) involved a knife and just one crime was flagged as gang or county lines related. The three wards with the highest rates of serious violence affecting under 25s were Feltham West, Hanworth Park and Hounslow Central. While the gender split of victims was even, around 5/6 suspects - where recorded - were male. Young black people appear to be disproportionally represented as suspects.

Sexual violence

There were 462 crimes of sexual violence in Hounslow in 2022/23, primarily rape and sexual assault. Victims were overwhelmingly female while 98% of suspects were male. Our analysis suggests that disability and ethnicity are risk factors for victims of sexual violence. The riskiest location for sexual violence was in the home, but there is indirect evidence of a reluctance of victims to engage with the Police in this situation.

Domestic abuse

There were 987 serious violence crimes flagged as DA occurred in 2022/23, principally affecting adult women. Most suspects were male, and either ex or current partners or other family members of victims. Use of a weapon was more prevalent than in sexual violence cases, with some 60 cases involving a weapon.

Wider context

Our analysis also showed progress in supporting people, including prisoners, with a history drug and alcohol addiction, which should aid diversion from crime. New tools in children’s social care have also helped us better identify and lower the chance of young people becoming victims or perpetrators of serious violence. Houinslow is looking into rates of permanent exclusions from schools, which can have a link to youth crime.

How will we prevent and reduce serious violence?

Our Hounslow Safer Communities Strategy sets out three priorities:

  1. Residents are less affected by serious crime
  2. Young people and adults exposed to and explouted to commit crimes receive help
  3. Residents work together to keep Hounslow safe

These priorities mean we are already putting actions into place to prevent and reduce serious violence.

For example, we are working to reduce offences in high-crime locations through ‘area-based approach’, sharing intelligence at monthly meetings where different charities, police officers and other partners can work together to identify specific problem areas and implement measures to prevent crimes there.

The Hounslow Violence and Vulnerability Reduction Plan also sets out our local response to serious violence and the contributing factors in more detail.

Our activity to prevent and reduce domestic abuse and sexual violence in Hounslow is detailed in our 2023-26 Violence Against Women and Girls plan. The plan takes a gendered approach considering the evidence that women and girls are overwhelmingly the targets of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and recognises the particular challenges faced by our LGBTQ+, migrant and disabled communities. The plan builds on our engagement with survivors, residents and staff, and is overseen by a Violence Against Women and Girls Partnership.

Our objectives are:

  1. To ensure victims, survivors and children receive the right help
  2. To work together to stop Violence Against Women and Girls, making Hounslow a safe place by empowering and educating children and young people
  3. To take action against perpetrators, holding them responsible for their behaviours

How do we hold ourselves to account?

Our violence and vulnerability reduction action plan includes over 100 detailed actions with timelines and responsibilities. We use it to stay on track. It covers the following themes:


  • Oversight of local violence reduction governance / leadership
  • Definition of Senior Leadership Structure
  • Interoperability between boards to support a public health approach

Working with Communities and Neighbourhoods

  • Ensuring close cooperation between local authorities and Voluntary and Community Sector

Analysis and Enforcement

  • Understand how analysis and local enforcement tactics are used to disrupt violence locally
  • Strategic Needs Assessment
  • Monthly tasking meetings
  • Use of wider public health data

Supporting victims of violence and vulnerability

  • Ensuring coordinated referral and support to victims and those who are most vulnerable to being exploited.

Reducing access to weapons

  • Need to understand how partners are working jointly to minimize access to weapons
  • Trading Standard Initiatives
  • Weapons Sweeps

Positive diversion from violence

  • Providing targeted early interventions to ensure that children and young people are helped to move away from criminality.

Safeguarding and educating young people

  • Reducing exclusions
  • Contextual safeguarding
  • Support for children in care and care leavers
  • Cooperation with parents and carers aimed at ensuring that schools are safe and inclusive.
  • Working with schools and other education settings

Domestic abuse and sexual violence specific actions

  • Ensuring strong referral pathways from statutory services to specialist support services, including ‘by and for’ provision for all victims.
  • Enabling all victims and perpetrators to access the support they need.
  • Coordinating annually updated local awareness training for key professionals coming in to contact with survivors and/or perpetrators.
  • Explore how to improve work with perpetrators across the Council when safeguarding children and the non-abusive parent.
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