Mon, 8 March 2021, 12:31 am
Police are set to be given an extra £30m to target violence hotspots to crack down on murders, knife crime and other serious offences.
The government funding pot will be made available to forces in parts of England and Wales which are “most affected by serious violence”, according to the Home Office.
The money is subject to approval by the department once police chiefs submit plans on how to spend it.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the spending is part of more than £130m being made available in the coming year to tackle violent crime and make Britain safer.
She said she was “determined to cut crime” and make the country’s streets safer by giving police the resources they need, but added: “When it comes to gangs and serious violence, we must also tackle underlying causes.”
“Even during the pandemic we have seen serious street-based violence continue and particularly violence involving young people as both victims and perpetrators,” Ms Patel added.
Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire, who leads the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s work on serious violent crime, welcomed the funding and said tackling serious violence was a “priority” for forces.
She added: “Even during the pandemic we have seen serious street-based violence continue and particularly violence involving young people as both victims and perpetrators.”
The new police funding will also pay for renewing and expanding other existing projects such as challenging the behaviour of domestic abusers and paying for investigations into gang material on social media.
It will also be used to fund other new schemes, like £23m being set aside for more early intervention programmes designed to steer young people away from committing crime.
The projects will involve trained professionals who will provide support to youngsters when they are taken into police custody or end up in A&E, the Home Office said.
The announcement comes ahead of the introduction of a criminal justice bill which will seek to give police more stop and search powers to tackle those known to carry knives and other weapons.
The forces receiving a share of the £30m funding include: The Metropolitan Police, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Northumbria, Thames Valley, Lancashire, Essex, Avon and Somerset, Kent, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Bedfordshire, Sussex, Hampshire and South Wales.
Around £100m of such funding in the past two years has resulted in more than 100,000 weapons being seized and has seen thousands of hours of police activity like increased patrols and searches, the Home Office said.