A proposition which applies to all mindless violence, his candour – and respectful appreciation of the grief being suffered by too many families – is noteworthy in a political era when too many of his Cabinet colleagues, and opponents for that behind, hide behind statistical semantics in policy debates.
One of the more able Tory leadership contenders, and whose candidacy deserved to go further, it is significant that the Home Office is making an extra £67m available to Yorkshire’s four forces, including the recruitment of 370 officers, following a 94 per cent increase in knife-related crime in the county in recent years. However, 24 hours after the National Audit Office criticised the response to violent crime, it is Mr Javid’s desire to prevent such crimes from taking place in the first place, rather than the policing having to react to the emergence of county line gangs and so on, which is striking and important if the county’s streets are to become safer for all.
Mr Javid’s point is that there needs to be better co-ordination and evidence-sharing between local police, councils, schools and healthcare professionals so that a decisive intervention can be made before vulnerable young people become susceptible to gang warfare. Yet, while he pushes for this new statutory duty to be formalised, the Home Secretary needs to remember that this will require significant resources – money that local councils, and police forces, simply do not have following a decade of austerity. Yet, while the next PM and Chancellor will inevitably ask if the country can afford extra expenditure on preventative measures, the more pertinent question is whether Britain can afford not to act before even more families are left mourning young ones shot or stabbed to death so needlessly.