West Midlands receives an extra £3,370,000 to go towards Violence Reduction Units, which work to reduce serious violence.
- This investment is part of the extra £35.5 million announced for police forces across England and Wales.
- The Conservative Government has now invested over £105 million in Violence Reduction Units, supporting over 100,000 young people since they were set up.
A special unit designed to help tackle serious violence and prevent young people in West Midlands being drawn into it will receive £3,370,000.
The funding will be invested in Violence Reduction Units, which bring together organisations across local communities to tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes, as well as also funding vital local projects doing positive preventative work with children and young people.
And Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, Jo Gideon said she is delighted West Midlands is receiving the funding as one of the 18 areas across England and Wales, getting a share of the £35.5 million total.
The allocation brings the total funding targeted at violent crime up to £105 million, and is the third year in a row where the Conservative Government has invested in the areas worst affected by serious violence.
In their first year of activity, initiatives funded by the scheme supported more than 100,000 young people, more than 51,000 of whom were identified as potentially high-risk of being involved in criminal and violent activity.
They also helped bring police, education leaders, health workers and local government together to share information about the causes of violence and agree a co-ordinated plan of action to tackle it, which is crucial to preventing crime at a local level. Today’s funding means that they can continue this vital work.
In addition to this funding, more than £2 million is being made available via a winter contingency fund package. This money is being delivered through VRUs to local charities and social enterprises that support vulnerable young people at risk of involvement in violence through the lockdown period.
The money forms part of a wider government drive to tackle crime and make communities safer, which includes bringing in 20,000 additional police officers over the next three years, 6,620 of which have already been recruited.
Commenting, Jo Gideon MP said:
“I am delighted that West Midlands will receive an extra £3,370,000 to tackle the violent crime that has been robbing too many young people of their futures.
“This funding will help bring together organisations across our community to tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes, as well as funding vital local projects that do positive preventative work with children and young people.
“By backing our police with the funding, powers and resources they need, we are keeping the public and our communities safe, so that people everywhere can live their lives free from the fear of crime.”
Commenting, Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“Violence Reduction Units play a vital role in preventing young people from being dragged into the horrors of serious violence, and this funding will enable them to continue this crucial work.
“I will continue to back our police with the resources and powers they need to cut crime and make your community safer.”
We are taking to significant steps to tackle serious violence:
- Boosting police funding by £636 million this year, ensuring our frontline officers have everything need to keep us safe. This brings total police funding up to £15.8 billion for 2021-2022, including £400 million to recruit 20,000 new officers by 2023, £914 million for counter-terrorism policing, and £1.1 billion to target national priorities such as reducing serious violence and clamping down on county lines (Home Office, News Story, 17 December 2020, link).
- Recruiting 20,000 new police officers, helping to keep our streets safe. We have already recruited 6,620 new officers, and we are on track to recruit 20,000 extra officers by 2023. As part of this year’s £636 million police funding settlement, more than £400 million will go towards recruiting additional officers. (Home Office, News Story, 28 January 2021, link).
- Introducing personalised stop and search powers, helping officers to target persistent offenders. SVRO’s are court-imposed orders which will apply to individuals previously convicted of carrying a knife or an offensive weapon. Police will be able to stop and search those who are subject to an SVRO to check if they are carrying a knife or offensive weapon again (Home Office, News Story, 14 September 2020, link).
- Enshrining a new police covenant into law, enhancing support and protection for our frontline police officers. The initial focus of the covenant will be on physical protection, health and wellbeing, as well as support for families. It will also create a statutory duty for the Government to do more to support the police, both those currently serving and retired (Home Office, News Story, 8 September 2020, link).
- Equipping over 8,000 more officers with Taser devices, ensuring they have the resources they need to keep themselves safe. We have delivered £6.7 million for 41 forces to purchase 8,155 Taser devices, and allocated £150,000 to train up Taser instructors. We have also approved a new Taser 7 model for use, which is more accurate, faster and compact (Home Office, News Story, 24 August 2020, link).
- Dismantling county lines gangs through a £40 million funding boost, keeping our towns and children safe from drug gangs. The £40 million of new money to tackle county lines and drugs supply brings the total invested to £65 million since November 2019. The funding has already seen more than 3,400 people arrested, more than 550 lines closed, more than £9 million street value of drugs and £1.5 million cash seized and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded (Home Office, Press Release, 20 January 2021, link).
- Delivering a £45 million Safer Streets Fund to tackle theft, robberies and burglaries in our towns. The money will go towards measures proven to cut crime including locked gates around alleyways, increased street-lighting and the installation of CCTV. This will stop offences that blight communities and cause misery to victims from happening in the first place (Home Office, News Story, 28 January 2021, link).