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The West Midlands VRU is taking a public health approach to violence reduction. The strategic needs assessment sets out this approach and can be downloaded below.

The insight and analysis provided by the needs assessment helps to inform the direction and policy decisions of the VRU and partners and is critical to the success of the VRU. 

Strategic Needs Assessment (April 2021)

Download Strategic Needs Assessment (April 2021)

Interactive Web-Based Strategic Needs Assessment

We have also developed a dynamic, web-based version of the SNA which allows people to select specific areas of interest and discover data and information on violence, crime and risk in the West Midlands in an intuitive, interactive way. There is also information on schools and the place-based pilots, including links to ‘place-based story maps’ that show the data in an engaging way, alongside the views and voices of the residents, and describe the work of the VRU and its network of partners in those places in more detail.

The strategic needs assessment contains sections on:

  • Demographics and Inequalities
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health
  • Education
Strategic Needs Assessment (April 2020)

Download Strategic Needs Assessment (April 2020)

Some key extracts of the 2020 assessment are below, with extracts from 2021 assessment soon to follow:

Knife Crime (Page 26)

  • Knife crime has risen sharply in the West Midlands since a brief two-year plateau at around 1,500 offences per year from 2013 to 2015
  • Since then, knife crime has more than doubled to 3,649 cases in 2019

Hospital Admissions (Page 48)

  • Trends mirror police data, showing rises after 2013 following a steady fall.
  • In the under 25 age group, we see significant rises from 2014, with admissions more than doubling in four years

HES map (page 50)

  • Hospital admissions for violence in the West Midlands (2017 to 2019) show the highest concentrations in the main city regions
  • There are notable hotspots in inner city and west Birmingham along the border with Sandwell
  • There are also hotspots in Coventry and Wolverhampton

Health factors (children’s assessments) (page 55)

Characteristics of children in Need data is published by the DfE annually. The following analysis is based on the most recent available data from the financial year 2018/19.

Assessments completed by children’s social care services by local authority identify factors pertinent to each assessed child’s circumstances.

  • There are some big variations between local authorities
  • One reason for this may be the different interpretation of data requirements
  • Some local authorities only record the single most important factor; others record all relevant factors
  • Even so, there is evidence that significant numbers of children are presenting to social services with exposure to domestic violence and mental health issues
  • In Birmingham, a rate of 70% equates to than 6,000 children in 2018/19 from a total of 8,000 assessments

PEX vs IDACI (page 74)

Permanent exclusion rates in state-funded secondary schools shown with the Index of Income Deprivation Affecting Children

  • 221 state-funded secondary schools in the West Midlands are shown on the map
  • Dark green dots show schools with lower than average permanent exclusion rates in the West Midlands
  • Many are in areas of high income deprivation affecting children, demonstrating that individual schools vary significantly in how they approach behaviour
  • Some of the schools with the highest rates of permanent exclusions are in areas of the least deprivation, particularly in west Dudley and Wolverhampton

Assess and Refine

The latest version of the needs assessment was published in April 2021. It is not a finished piece of analysis, nor will it ever be. The VRU analytical team are always seeking to improve, update and refine the data and evidence base. Please get in touch if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or ideas.

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