Tough new powers planned to tackle knife crime surge - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Nick Hurd MP, Policing Minister.

Policing Minister Nick Hurd has defended the Government's response to knife crime.

THE recent surge in knife crime has shaken communities to their core and left a terrible trail of fear, anger and grief. The Government is determined to do whatever we can and this includes giving the police the resources they need.

We have responded with the biggest increase in police funding since 2010. Up to £970m more will be going into policing in 2019-20, which includes money from council tax.

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Yorkshire forces will receive up to an additional £66.6m of funding if the PCCs use their full precept flexibility. PCCs have indicated that they plan to use this additional resource to recruit an additional 389 officers and staff.

It is clear we must go further and that is why the Chancellor announced £100m for police in areas most affected by violent crime, such as South and West Yorkshire. This follows the round table hosted by the Home Secretary when he asked police leaders, including South Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable Tim Forber and West Yorkshire Temporary Chief Constable John Robins, what additional support they needed.

This money will enable police forces to take immediate steps to bolster their frontlines and intelligence gathering, with more officers out on patrol.

Some of it will also go to setting up Violence Reduction Units. These multi-agency task forces will bring together police, health, education, local government and community partners. They will support our proposed public health approach to tackling serious violence and our significant programme of prevention and early intervention.

In the longer term, we will work with the police to consider the levels of investment required and will prioritise policing at the Spending Review.

We are bringing in tough news powers through the Offensive Weapons Bill, opening a National County Lines Co-ordination Centre and providing communities with £22m from our Youth Intervention Fund.

The Home Office has also announced a £200m Youth Endowment Fund for prevention work and review of the drugs market, a key driver of violent crime.

While we place great emphasis on tackling the root causes of violent crime, we remain steadfast in our support of the police and will continue to listen to and work with forces across England and Wales. The first role of Government is to protect the public and that is why we will always be on the side of the police and are taking determined action to stop serious violence.