The Safer Wolverhampton Partnership's Tackling Violence and Exploitation Strategy will, for the first time, bring together the work already being done to address issues of child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation, modern slavery, gangs and youth violence in the city.
The strategy takes a ‘Public Health approach’ – which aims to provide the maximum benefit for the largest number of people – by striking a balance between a strengthened partnership response, enforcement action and early intervention to tackle the root causes of violence.
In doing so, it hopes to expose more people to prevention measures, and therefore reduce and prevent violence and exploitation at a population level in Wolverhampton.
A multi agency action plan being developed to deliver the new strategy, which will be jointly governed by the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership and Wolverhampton Safeguarding Boards.
Mark Taylor, Chair of the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, said: “Whereas previously we had separate strategies for each type of exploitation, Wolverhampton’s new Violence and Exploitation Strategy will enable agencies to robustly address all these issues together, rather than individually.
“The development of this strategy recognises that offending behaviour is changing and becoming more complex, and so we are increasingly looking at what agencies can do to tackle the root causes of violence and exploitation. We will do this through a strengthened partnership approach which balances enforcement action with early intervention and prevention.”
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The strategy aims to take a Public Health approach to violence and exploitation, with the ambition of providing interventions earlier on to prevent young people from becoming vulnerable to violence and exploitation in the first place.
“It also seeks to support people who are already affected by helping them get out of violent or exploitative situations.
"By identifying issues and providing help and support whenever possible, we hope to give young people better outcomes and ultimately improve their health, wellbeing and future life chances."
Members of the council's Cabinet last night (Wednesday 10 July) endorsed the implementation of the Tackling Violence and Exploitation Strategy, which has been subject to an extensive period of public consultation.
To find out more about the work of the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, which comprises a range of partners committed to working together to tackle issues of crime and community safety in a coordinated way, please visit Safer Wolverhampton Partnership. For more information about Wolverhampton Safeguarding Boards, please visit Wolverhampton Safeguarding.