Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has announced a new "Violence Reduction Partnership" working with communities to deliver "a public-health approach to tackling the causes of serious violence."

Jane Kennedy is meeting with specialists in police, health and local government to seek agreement to establishing the multi-agency partnership.

The aim is preventing and reducing incidences of violence as well as identifying underlying reasons for the recent increase in serious crime on Merseyside.

The announcement comes in response to the Prime Minister’s youth violence summit at which a consultation was launched on introducing a public health duty to tackling serious violence.

It also follows the Government’s announcement that they would be allocating £100m to tackle the surge in serious violence across the country.

Spearheading development of this partnership will be Professor Dr John Ashton  the former regional director of public health for the North West.

Professor Ashton, who is a senior consultant advisor to the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Cities project, will act as the commissioner’s public health advisor helping to coordinate response.

Ms Kennedy said: “The causes of serious violence are extremely complex and deep-seated.

"It is not possible to simply ‘police’ our way out of violent crime. We need to look beyond at societal problems including poverty, mental ill-health, education, issues of addiction and lack of opportunity.

“By developing this partnership, I want all the agencies who have a role to play in policing and community safety to step up and play their part in addressing the contagion of serious violence.

"Between all the partners we have a wealth of information and data on many of these factors, but at the moment we are not using it as wisely as we could, nor targeting our activities to have maximum impact."

Professor Ashton said: “Serious violence is a disease which is infecting our communities. After years of treating such events as moral failings, demanding a policing response, there is finally a wider recognition that this issue needs a public health response.

“We know that this approach can and does work, we have seen the evidence from other parts of the world.

"By listening to communities, using the best available evidence and by trying this new approach, we can provide real solutions to the causes and triggers of serious violence in our region.

“As a Liverpudlian, born and bred in the city, I want to see our region go to the next stage of its renaissance, where we do not allow violence and anti-social behaviour to besmirch our great city and we take a collective stance against this type of behaviour.”