EXCLUSIVE: 'I'm deeply concerned about knife crime across Yorkshire' - admits Home Secretary Sajid Javid

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed he is "deeply concerned" about knife crime across Yorkshire following a 94 per cent increase in offences in the last eight years.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed he is "deeply concerned" about knife crime across Yorkshire following a 94 per cent increase in offences in the last eight years.
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Home Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed he is "deeply concerned" about knife crime across Yorkshire following a 94 per cent increase in offences in the last eight years.

In an exclusive interview with The Yorkshire Post, the Home Secretary said he is doing everything in his power to tackle the "senseless violence that is traumatising communities and claiming too many young lives".

This includes investing an additional £67 million which will be shared between the four Yorkshire police forces and will see nearly 370 more police officers recruited to the front line to fight knife crime.

This is on top of an extra £12m shared between West Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Police specifically to tackle violent crime.

VIEW THE YORKSHIRE POST'S SPECIAL INTERACTIVE KNIFE CRIME FEATURE

The Home Secretary's comments come as it was revealed there has been a 94 per cent increase across Yorkshire in the number of offences involving a knife compared to figures from 2011.

Latest figures also revealed that across Yorkshire and the Humber, there were 4,597 serious offences involving a knife in the 12 months to December 2018.

There were also 21 homicides and 34 attempted murders - all involving knives.

Only London and the West Midlands had more offences.

Mr Javid said: "One death due to knife crime is one too many.

"Whenever I see statistics like this, I think of the victims and families who have had their lives changed forever.

"This is why a public health approach is needed to tackle this problem. It will see police officers, education partners, local authorities and health care professionals have a new legal duty to take action and prevent violent crime. This statutory duty would make serious violence a top priority for all key partners, ensuring that all agencies are working together to prevent young people being caught in the criminal cycle.

"It's crucial we all work together to do everything we can to tackle knife crime and serious violence. "

Mr Javid denied claims that the focus on tackling knife crime was just aimed at the capital.

He said: "I am deeply concerned about knife crime, not just in the capital, but across the UK, including across Yorkshire and the Humber, and I've been clear I'll do everything in my power to tackle the senseless violence that is traumatising communities and claiming too many young lives.

"The police already have a range of measures they are using to keep our streets safe, but there is more we can do to help them in this battle.

"The recent police funding settlement has increased funding by over £1 billion in 2019/20, including council tax and money to tackle serious violence.

"From this, the four police forces in the Yorkshire and Humber region are benefiting from an increase of nearly £67 million, which will see nearly 370 more police officers recruited to the front line fighting crime in the area."

Mr Javid also believes education has a vital role to play in reducing knife crime.

Earlier this month, the Government introduced new lesson plans to help teachers challenge myths about the realities of carrying knives before the summer holidays. This followed on from the launch of the #knifefree campaign.

Mr Javid said: "The campaign is discouraging young people from carrying knives and inspiring them to pursue positive alternatives by sharing real-life stories. We are also giving £220m to early intervention projects to support young people at a local level.

"I’m supportive of any project working to tackle knife crime at a local level. Our Serious Violence Strategy places a strong emphasis on early intervention to help young people develop the skills and resilience to live happy and productive lives away from violence.

"The Early Intervention Youth Fund of £22 million is already supporting 29 projects in England and Wales, helping to protect young people from being drawn into violence. I have also launched a £200 million Youth Endowment Fund to support interventions and the futures of this country’s most vulnerable youngsters.

"In addition, this year’s local government finance settlement includes extra funding for local services, supporting some of our most vulnerable groups."