William Eichler 09 April 2018

Whitehall launches £40m strategy to fight violent crime

Whitehall launches £40m strategy to fight violent crime image

The Government today launched a multi-million pound strategy to tackle the ‘root causes’ of violent crime, including a task force involving local authorities.

Home secretary Amber Rudd described the £40m Serious Violence Strategy as a ‘major shift’ in Whitehall’s response to knife crime and gun crime.

She argued the new strategy would strike a balance between prevention and law enforcement with a £11m Early Intervention Youth Fund for community projects to keep young people away from violence.

Ms Rudd also said there will be more focus on tackling ‘county lines’ exploitation, the practice of using children to transport drugs from cities to rural areas.

The strategy includes £3.6m for the establishment of a new National County Lines Coordination Centre.

The home secretary will also lead a new Serious Violence Taskforce which will bring together the voluntary sector, local government, police and other key sectors to ensure the strategy is delivered effectively.

‘This strategy represents a real step-change in the way we think about and respond to these personal tragedies, these gruesome violent crimes which dominate the front pages of our newspapers with seemingly depressing regularity,’ said Ms Rudd.

‘A crucial part of our approach will be focusing on and investing more in prevention and early intervention.

'We need to engage with our young people early and to provide the incentives and credible alternatives that will prevent them from being drawn into crime in the first place. This in my view is the best long-term solution.’

The announcement comes after a spate of recent shooting and stabbing deaths in London. There have been more than 50 lives lost this year to violent crime in the capital.

The Government claims half the rise in robbery, knife and gun crime is due to improvements in police recording, while the other half is the result of a rise in drug use.

Between 2014-15 and 2016-17, homicides where either the victim or suspect were known to be involved in using or dealing illicit drugs increased from 50% to 57%.

Labour blames the rise in violent crime on cuts to frontline services, including the police.

‘While it is welcome to see the Tories acknowledging the epidemic of violence that has risen on their watch, by cutting 21,000 officers since 2010 they have completely undermined the ability of the police to enforce any new powers,’ said Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary.

‘Talking tough is not enough. This announcement ignores the factors which we know contribute to crime, including a lack of decent work opportunities for young people, cuts to health services and decline in community policing.’

Responding to the announcement of the new strategy, Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: 'One of the key successes in tackling and preventing crime in recent years has been effective partnership working at a local level between councils, the police and the health service.

'It is good that today’s strategy commits to providing funding to support this multi-agency work, and we are pleased it places significant emphasis on the early intervention support which is vital to prevent young people becoming involved in crime in the first place.'

Cllr Blackburn said council Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) had achieved huge success in working with and supporting young people to prevent them getting involved in crime, but warned councils were still waiting to receive their youth justice grant allocations for 2018/19.

'This is vital funding used to support young people and help keep them away from criminality in the first place,' he said.

'This follows government funding for YOTs already being halved from £145m in 2010/11 to just £72m in 2017/18.

'Councils also face significant rises in demand for urgent child protection work and with a children’s services funding gap that will reach almost £2bn by 2020, councils are increasingly having to divert funding away from preventative work into services to protect children who are at immediate risk of harm,' Cllr Blackburn continued.

'Only with the right funding and powers can councils continue to make a difference to people’s lives, by supporting families and young people, and helping to tackle serious violent crime in our local communities.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Commissioning Support Officer - MH & LD

Camden London Borough Council
£30,893 - £35,488
This role will primarily focus on supporting the commissioning team to develop and monitor mental health and learning disability services, as... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Travel Options Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£37,638 - £43,659 per annum
The role will work closely with internal and external stakeholders in developing Travel Options, policies, and procedures with... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Forensic Senior Social Worker

Suffolk County Council
£33,782 - £39,759 per annum *plus £2,772 per annum AMHP Honorarium
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the joint Suffolk County Council (SCC) and Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) as... Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Adult Senior Social Worker (Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism)

Suffolk County Council
£33,782 - £39,759 pro rata
Do you want to join a thriving, enthusiastic and creative service? Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Adult Social Worker (Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism)

Suffolk County Council
£30,451 - £33,782 pro rata
 We are looking to recruit social workers, who have a strong commitment to supporting their local communities and... Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue