A package of measures to tackle violent crime backed by £130.5 million has been revealed by the government.
The funding will be made available to tackle knife crime, serious violence and murder and new money will be targeted at steering young people away from crime.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I am determined to cut crime and make our streets safer, which is why we are recruiting 20,000 more police officers, introducing new stop and search powers, and giving the police the resources they need to go after the serious violent criminals causing misery in communities.
“But when it comes to gangs and serious violence, we must also tackle underlying causes. That is why we are investing in new early intervention programmes to stop young people committing these crimes in the first place,” she added.
The package includes:
- £30 million to support the police to take targeted action in parts of England and Wales most affected by serious violence
- up to £23 million for new early intervention programmes that will help stop young people from being drawn into violence
The funding comes ahead of the introduction of a major criminal justice bill, which will:
- give police new stop and search powers to tackle known knife and weapons carriers
- place a duty on public sector bodies – including police, education and health agencies – to take a joined-up approach to addressing serious violence
- require local agencies to review the circumstances when an adult homicide takes place involving offensive weapons, such as knives, to ensure lessons are learnt and future deaths are prevented
National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for Serious Violent Crime, Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire, said: “Continuing to work with partners to address serious violence and its widespread impact on individuals and communities is a key priority for forces. Even during the pandemic, we have seen serious street-based violence continue and particularly violence involving young people as both victims and perpetrators.
“I have seen officers and staff facing real challenges to their own safety every day, facing unknown dangers when executing warrants, taking knives from those carrying them in public places and dealing with victims of serious violence and trauma with compassionate professionalism.
“Bringing about sustained reductions in violence is incredibly complex. We welcome this renewal of funding from the Home Office, which will allow police to maintain a focus on tactics and activities that we have an evidence base on and know work in local communities,” she added.
A range of other measures will be introduced to address the factors that lead to serious violent crime and stop it happening in the first place. These include:
- £10 million to expand domestic abuse perpetrator programmes, which will hold perpetrators to account by challenging their behaviours and helping to change them.
- £3.4 million to expand work being carried out by the Metropolitan Police’s Social Media Hub to investigate online gang-related material, gather evidence for prosecutions, and make referrals to social media companies so illegal and harmful content can be taken down.
- £1 million to set up and start the pilot for new homicide reviews.
- £1.6 million towards piloting the Creating Opportunities Forum this year: a new programme to support young people who may be at risk of serious violence to access employment opportunities.
The funding package also includes the further £35.5 million towards violence reduction units which was announced in early February. The units draw together partners in 18 areas worst affected by serious violence to deliver a full range of co-ordinated action needed to tackle serious violence at its root.
The remaining funding will all be spent on programmes to tackle serious violent crime.
The funding for this package of measures has been secured at the Spending Review and through the Shared Outcomes Fund, which funds pilot projects to test innovative ways of working across the public sector.