Crime and violence - Public Health Dorset

Crime and violence

Crime and antisocial behaviour affects health in a number of ways – directly, indirectly and by influences on the healthcare system. Public Health, through working with partners in the community, such as the police, NHS and trading standards, can play a key role in in assisting the Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) to deliver on their strategy.

Although the number of first time offenders has dropped in all areas since 2014, the reoffending rates have changed little. Additionally, in recent years, the number of violent offences has increased in all areas (and across England). However, this is likely due to a change in the recording practices by the police, lowering the threshold of what constitutes a reportable violent offence. In contrast to this local Cardiff model data suggests that there has been little change in the number of assault victims being seen by emergency departments.

Key statistics

Indicators of crime and violence for our region have been drawn from Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHE).

* indicates a statistically significant difference from the respective English Average.

Crime and violence key statistics
Indicator BCP Dorset South West England
Violent offences per 1,000 persons 23.8 23.8 23.4 29.5

First time offenders per 100,000 persons

182 101 141 160
Percentage of offenders who re-offend 30.1 26.7 27.2 27.9

Cardiff Model – violence surveillance system

This is a local violence surveillance system that informs strategies that attempt to reduce the potential of physical harm in the community. Our model is based on a local interpretation of the original Cardiff Model and the national Information Sharing to Tackle Violence (ISTV) standard (see ISTV).

How it works

Information is collected from patients who have been the victim of an assault and sought treatment in an emergency department. This information is anonymised, and is shared with community safety partners. It is set up as a population level preventative programme so that no identifiable data is shared, and there is no risk of an individual being identified from the data set.

The data collected includes the date and time the violence occurred, location of violence, if weapons were used and how many assailants there were. These key pieces of information help to identify violence ‘hot spots’, which enable partners to take appropriate  action to prevent further harm. This may include challenging the practices of a licensed venue, altering policing patterns or introducing an intervention such as street pastors into the night time economy.

Making the night time economy safer

This approach has been repeatedly demonstrated to reduce levels of violence and also hospital admissions.  To be effective the information from the hospitals needs to be accurate and it must be shared correctly to inform licensing, policing and crime prevention interventions.

Locally we have been successful in adding conditions to a number of licensed premises to ensure they are protecting the health of people who use them and even in supporting the closure of a pub with evidence of poor management practices causing harm.

The information is used with police data to show a fuller picture, it can influence local policy, and it may provide support for the implementation of things such as cumulative impact policy.

Partnership approach

The scheme is coordinated by Public Health and delivered in partnership with three emergency departments; the Royal Bournemouth, Poole General and Dorset County Hospital, as well as licensing and community safety officers in all of the local authorities and Dorset police. The steering group meets on a quarterly basis and communication between partners is encouraged at all times to ensure timely sharing of relevant information.


We continue to work closely with our hospitals and partners to make Dorset a safer place. We are pleased to be able to display some of the data trends.

Information in this visualisation is from all three hospitals who have approved its use in this way in line with their data protection and patient confidentiality policies. No individuals can be identified from the data shown.

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