Within Essex, when looking at community violence, 88.5% of all community violence was attributable to 10% of all suspects. These results strongly support the conclusion that a very small number of individuals account for most of the harm. We are working to understand more about these individuals – who we refer to as the Power Few.
Our crime analysis focusses on the harm caused by serious violence, weighting crime types according to harm. Most crime analysis focusses on counts and volume of crimes, however, not all crimes are equivalent to one another. Focusing the violence and vulnerability joint budget and resources on victims, offenders and places that cause the most harm is a fundamental element of our approach in Essex.
For Essex, we know that this 10% equates to about 2,000 individuals over four years of crime data. They are predominately male, aged 14 to 22. More than half have also been victims of community violence. Almost one third have been exposed to domestic abuse, either as victims or offenders.
Within this group, there is a prevalence of group offending (20%) and weapon enabled offending (more than 60%) within the Power Few’ cohort. Drug flags (which can refer to drug misuse and/or supply) among the Power Few is at 45%. A quarter of offenders reside outside of Essex, but for those who reside within Essex, more than 80% come from Southend, Thurrock, Tendring, Basildon, Colchester, Chelmsford and Harlow. With more than three quarters of individuals coming from one third of wards across Essex.
To enable Essex to target criminogenic needs requires data on what those needs are for those involved in community violence. Nationally available data shows the people and behaviour needs associated with violent offending are most likely to be relationships (55%), thinking and behaviour skills (51%), employment/finances (47%) and alcohol misuse (43%).
The order of influence for robbery offending is more significantly linked to employment/finances (80%), lifestyle and associates (i.e. co-offending – 80%) and drug misuse (63%).
The more we can learn about these individuals, the more we can target our work and resources to make sure we have having an impact on the right people and communities. Making Essex a safer place for all.