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An evaluation of a violence reduction partnership network: mixed methods network analysis

Dean Wilkinson (Faculty of Social Science, Institute of Policing, University of Chester, Chester, UK)
Alison Thompson (Community Researcher, Birmingham, UK)
Debbie Kerslake (Community Researcher, Birmingham, UK)
Isha Chopra (Institute of Community Research and Development, Wolverhampton, UK)
Sophie Badger (Institute of Community Research and Development, Wolverhampton, UK)

Safer Communities

ISSN: 1757-8043

Article publication date: 27 September 2023

Issue publication date: 2 January 2024




The purpose of this paper was to report on the evaluation of the network and resources for violence prevention and reduction in the chosen area of focus. This area had experiences deprivation, significant implications due to Covid-19 restrictions and a lack of outdoor recreation space.


Network analysis methodologies are increasingly being used in criminological research and evaluations to assess the structures of social and economic networks. This study explored, using a mixed-methods network analysis methodology, the nature of the established violence reduction network in a specific geographical location in West Midlands.


A breadth of network activity is taking place across the community; however, the network analysis highlighted gaps in terms of specialist provision for early years and support from those with lived experience. It was perceived that a lack of continuity, in terms of changes in key roles, has affected the network. Funding mechanisms were perceived ineffective, and not encouraging of development of localisation services. Relationships between network members were predominantly positive with organisations having good communication and accessing support from one another; however, identifying shared goals and better collective working would benefit the network.


This study pioneers using an innovative, mixed methods network analysis to explore a public health approach to violence prevention and reduction. Quantitative data collection and analysis allowed for assessment of the networks capacity and density, whereas qualitative data provided insights and detailed accounts of how the network functions.



Funding: This work was funded by the Home Office via the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership core grant for Evaluation 2021–2022.

Ethical Approval: Ethical support was granted for this study from the University of [ANON]who was the lead university of the core grant.


Wilkinson, D., Thompson, A., Kerslake, D., Chopra, I. and Badger, S. (2024), "An evaluation of a violence reduction partnership network: mixed methods network analysis", Safer Communities, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 53-69.



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