From court costs to workdays lost, Merseyside bears brunt of serious violence
Includes “Economic & social costs of violence on Merseyside: A report for the Merseyside VRP”.
As if the emotional and physical damage of violence were not enough, crimes from assault to homicide are punching a hole in our region’s economy of over £185 MILLION per year.
So says the first-ever report to estimate the fiscal damage crimes against the person costs on Merseyside – compiled by the Public Health Institute at Liverpool John Moores University and released by the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (please see attached).
From the price of Accident and Emergency care to the near £30 million bill for policing, the report also looks at lost days at work at this time of massively increased absence due to COVID.
Amongst its findings, are:
- Serious violence costs businesses close-on £30 million per year in lost productivity
- Our already beleaguered health service spent £25.3 million tending injuries from broken bones to wounds from bottles, and helping patients rehabilitate
- Court costs to hear serious violence cases came in at £54 million and,
- Putting serious cases through the criminal justice system topped a whopping £80 million per annum.
“Aside from the obvious sums spent on treating injuries and prosecuting offenders, this report has also put into stark focus the hidden costs of violent crime. This includes a hefty 81,000 hours of counselling for victims and the impact of fear of crime which has some businesses feeling it necessary to spend large sums of money protecting their premises” said Detective Superintendent Siobhan Gainer, Head of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP). “This high price is worth bearing in mind when we make decisions about services, particularly those which prevent serious violence occurring in the first place. Each crime we stop from happening is saving money and more importantly, reducing the pain victims, their families and our communities experience.”
The desktop study worked with data from Merseyside Police, the NHS, the Home Office, and the Merseyside VRP’s own Evidence Hub, to examine the costs of the 49,000 incidents of serious violence during the year 2019-2020. Acknowledging that not all incidents were reported to the Police, the study highlighted a direct correlation between deprivation and violence, adding: “There is a clear public health argument for investing in violence prevention and a strong economic case can also be made.”
Detective Supt Gainer concluded: “Our Partnership has offered young people from the bump to adulthood, education on the impact of violence plus positive alternatives away from the toxic environments of gangs and drugs. Investing in such programmes is a small price to pay compared to the bill for putting back together the lives of those who have been affected by knife attacks, gun crime and assaults. I do believe that in Merseyside we have taken a lead with a public health approach and that this is building a platform for stronger communities free from the scourge of serious violence.”
- Ends -
For further information
Please contact Peter Gibson on 0759 202 8142
Notes to editors
Merseyside’s Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) is helping the government to deliver its Serious Violence Strategy, (published in 2018), in response to national increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide. Learn more about their work at www.merseysidevrp.com