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Beyond the Brexit Bubble - Blog Series: Youth Violence and Knife Crime Blog #2

Wednesday 6 November 2019 Demographic Data

Cory Vivian's picture
By Cory Vivian

 

Beyond the Brexit Bubble – Blog #2

Brexit’s domination of national headlines, central government focus and resources has become even more extreme in recent months. But for local authorities, everyday societal and social challenges are as pressing as ever.

Our local authority blog series looks beyond the Brexit agenda to spotlight the critical public sector issues that urgently need attention, innovation and solutions, whatever the political agenda. Working with dedicated local authority organisations every day, we’re intent on supporting them to maintain their vital focus on vulnerable individuals and communities around the UK.

 

Real life data: getting behind the headlines to tackle local issues

This month a BBC news report highlighted areas in the UK where knife crime is rising the fastest. In order for the police and community safety teams to tackle this problem head on, they need to understand the populations they serve and develop interventions that target key community groups affected by crime. By using data as an evidence base to inform decision-making, they can avoid making assumptions about the local community.

The report highlights that knife crime is mainly committed by young people on young people, with a majority falling within the 25-34 age group. So if a police force or community safety team want to execute an effective intervention campaign to tackle knife crime and raise awareness about the impact of the crime, they must target community groups that include these young people, with a message that resonates and is delivered via their preferred communication channels.

Using CACI’s ‘Acorn’ consumer segmentation, we looked at Liverpool and Nottingham, two of the areas highlighted in the BBC report. We can see that these areas have high proportions of 16-24 and 25-34 year olds. We can also see that they are more likely to receive income support and other benefits. These are urban areas with a high proportion of high-rise flats and local authority or housing association properties. Coupling this with research from the Crime survey for England, we can see that in these areas, there’s higher than average fear of ‘being physically attacked by strangers’ and ‘being mugged and robbed’.

CACI’s data can help prioritise and focus action. It helps authorities to understand more about the demographic, lifestyle and behavioural characteristics of the population in the age groups affected by and involved with crime. This will provide an understanding of their contact, channel and marketing preferences, so the police can establish the best method of communication. For example, whether it would be more effective to put a leaflet through the door, place an advert in a newspaper or send a mobile phone text message.

By adopting a blended data approach – using open, administrative or service owned and commercial data - police and community safety teams will be able to fill the gaps in their own knowledge and understanding of their communities’ residents. This will help them to prioritise resources to meet the needs of the wider community. Looking closely at the profile of all the groups in the entire community will help identify needs among the most vulnerable, select the most effective communication channels and help shape tailored messages that will have impact and create change.

One of our local authority clients is using data in exactly this kind of collaborative way to improve community safety:

Cornwall Council’s Communities Service, through the Community Safety Intelligence Team, have invested time and resource into the development and application of MoRiLE to assess threat, risk and harm for community safety partnerships and align priorities and resources across all community safety partners

MoRiLE (Management of Risk in Law Enforcement) is a national programme that has developed a suite of accredited models that provide a common approach and language for understanding risk, involving more than 300 UK and international law enforcement agencies. MoRiLE has been adopted by all police forces in England and Wales, and other law enforcement agencies such as National Crime Agency, to inform their Strategic Assessments. Safer Cornwall, Cornwall’s Community Safety Partnership, is the national lead for adapting this approach for Community Safety Partnerships nationwide.

 

For More Information

This is the second blog in our series of blogs looking beyond the Brexit agenda to spotlight the critical public sector issues that urgently need attention. If you missed the first one, click here to read it.

If you’d like to augment your local knowledge to fill in gaps, support your field teams and target proactive and prevention campaigns more accurately, please get in touch with CACI’s local authority and police data specialists.

Our local authority blog series looks beyond the Brexit agenda to spotlight the critical public sector issues that urgently need attention, innovation and solutions, whatever the political agenda. Working with dedicated local authority organisations every day, we’re intent on supporting them to maintain their vital focus on vulnerable individuals and communities around the UK.

Beyond the Brexit Bubble - Blog Series: Youth Violence and Knife Crime Blog #2