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Research on Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs)

StopWatch's new research project on SVROs aims to turn a spotlight on these new civil orders and their piloting

What is an SVRO?

SVROs are a new and highly controversial type of civil order that give police officers (in England and Wales) the discretionary power to stop and search someone subject to an order at any time, any number of times, in a public place – without the usual need for ‘reasonable suspicion’.

Although the government and the police say these orders will target 'known and prolific knife crime offenders', even those who have never carried a knife can be made subject to an SVRO.

See our 'SVROs: Everything You Need to Know' page for more information.

The pilot scheme

A two-year pilot scheme, which launched in April 2023, will cover four police areas: Merseyside, Thames Valley, Sussex, and West Midlands. During the pilot, only courts in these four areas can impose SVROs.

About the project

This year StopWatch will be embarking on a new research project in partnership with the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (CCJS) as part of their Young Adult Safety project (funded by the Transition to Adulthood Alliance at the Barrow Cadbury Trust).

Our part of the project will focus on new Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) and the pilot scheme which is currently underway. The second and third strands of the Young Adult Safety project will look at joint enterprise and offensive weapon homicide reviews.

Get in touch

For more information about the Young Adult Safety project at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, contact Helen Mills, head of programmes, at

If you have been affected by SVROs and wish to share your experience, or if you are in need of advice or support, feel free to get in touch at