The Home Secretary has allocated police forces the final part of a dedicated £100million fund to tackle serious violence.
Sajid Javid announced that £12.4million will be distributed to 18 forces dealing with high levels of violent crime, including Northumbria Police
It comes after £51 million was announced for the forces before Easter for additional officer deployments, improved intelligence, and short-term operational actions such as targeting habitual knife carriers.
The announcement was made ahead of the first meeting of a new Ministerial Taskforce on Serious Youth Violence, chaired by the Prime Minister, in Downing Street .
Home Secretary, Sajid Javid said: “I’ve been doing everything in my power to ensure we have the strongest possible response to tackle violent crime - and law enforcement plays a key role in this.
“This money means forces can take urgent action, including more officers on duty in the worst affected areas.
“It takes a collective effort to tackle violent crime and I’ll continue to work closely with police and partners to end this senseless bloodshed.”
The ministerial meetings, starting today, will focus specifically on improving the coordination of the government’s response and are designed to complement the existing Serious Violence Taskforce. This taskforce is chaired by the Home Secretary to bring together politicians from across parties, law enforcement and other agencies, regularly on this issue.
The taskforce will be supported by a new Serious Violence Reduction Team that will drive forward work to make sure every part of the government system intervenes earlier to protect young people from violence.
The 18 forces in the worst affected areas of violent crime will now benefit from a larger share of the £100million funding
The announcement means Northumbria Police will benefit from an extra £2.32million surge funding to tackle serious violence. This is on top of the £283.3 million the force is receiving as a result of the Police Funding Settlement for 2019/20, including council tax – an increase of £18m from last year. The boost coincides with the force’s plans to recruit additional officers to bolster the front line in the fight against crime.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “This is welcome news for Northumbria as it will allow us to continue our effective partnership work in deterring young people away from serious and violent crime and enable us to continue pursuing those dangerous offenders putting our communities at risk.”
The £100million Serious Violence Fund was announced by the government in the March Spring Statement.
Around a third of the funding - £35 million - will support the setting up of violence reduction units (VRUs) and other preventative activity across the country. VRUs are a multi-agency approach bringing together police, health agencies, local government, and community representatives to tackle violent crime and its underlying causes.
Another £1.6million is being spent on ensuring forces collect better data to help their planning and ensure targeted action.
The funding comes after new figures showing that stabbings of under-25s have reduced by 15% in London, which the Metropolitan Police attributes to an increase in the use of stop and search and a “massive law enforcement effort”.
The Home Secretary last week chaired his latest Chief Constable roundtable to discuss how forces are using additional government funding to tackle serious violence.
The roundtables will continue and the Home Office will work closely with the police to monitor and assess the impact of the funding, including improving the quality of data returns on serious violence and knife crime in particular.