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Collaboration 'key' to reducing violence

Collaboration 'key' to reducing violence


Sustainable reductions in violence can only be achieved collaboration between criminal justice and health, a leading police officer has told GPs.

John Carnochan, Detective Chief Superintendent of the Violence Reduction Unit in Scotland spoke at the RCGP annual conference in Liverpool on ways in which cross-sector collaboration can help prevent violence in communities.

He said: "Violence infects the wellbeing and health of communities throughout the world; the daily stress and fear experienced by individuals and families inhibits lives and aspirations.

"Agencies such as Health, Education, Social Services and Criminal Justice all commit significant proportions of their budget to dealing with violence and its consequences.

"Yet, despite these often heroic efforts by individual agencies and groups, the levels of violence remain unacceptably high, health is still poor, educational attainment is low and prisons are full.

"The framing of the problem of violence using the public health model allows a detailed and systematic examination that will not only highlight the scale of the problem and the principal causes but will also indicate solutions."

RCGP Chair Dr Clare Gerada said: "As GPs, we are often the first point of call when dealing with the consequences that result from violence with our communities, but it is clear that we must work in partnership with our colleagues in education, social services and criminal justice to have the best chance to reduce it.

"One of my priorities as chair is to look at how GPs can identify and help patients who suffer as a result of domestic violence, but it is clear that GPs are ideally placed to work to solve violence across the board.

"Identifying and working to reduce health inequalities is one of the many ways we as GPs can contribute to improving the lives of all of our patients."


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