Issued on 17/4/19 at 4:50 p.m.
Leicestershire Police has been granted an extra £1million to tackle serious violence and the country’s spiralling knife crime epidemic, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner revealed today.
Lord Willy Bach said the force was one of 18 across the country to be granted the Home Office funding boost, which will be immediately invested into “a surge of operational activity” beginning this Easter weekend.
Reacting to the news, Willy Bach said: “I’m relieved that our urgent calls for additional funding have been heard. This money is desperately needed and will increase our capacity to tackle knife crime and violence as early as this Easter weekend.
“The violence on our streets must end which is why I know that the Chief Constable will be taking a hard-line operational approach over the coming weeks and months maximising the use of all available resources. But alongside enforcement, we will be ensuring our young people continue to be supported to make better lifestyle choices and fully understand the consequences of carrying knives.
“I’ve already announced £100,000 this year into projects tackling knife crime on top of over £300,000 for community-based crime prevention. This £1million boost will certainly make a difference to that work but there is always more to be done. When it comes to knife crime, everything counts. This is just the beginning.”
Chief Constable Simon Cole welcomed the injection of funding. He said: “The extra money will allow additional operational activity on the streets across the city and counties, tackling the serious crime happening on our streets.
“We will be looking at what resources are available for over the coming weekend quick time, while also planning for the weeks and months ahead to make sure we are utilising this money in the most effective way.
“Tackling knife crime, and educating young people about the dangers of carrying a knife is something we are dedicated to, with our #LivesnotKnives campaign delivering workshops to young people about what consequences there may be if they were to be found with, or use, a knife.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has secured £100m to tackle serious violence and knife crime, including £80m of new funding from the Treasury this financial year.
A total of 18 forces are immediately benefitting from a share of £51m to tackle the recent surge in violence on Britain’s streets. The allocation reflects levels of serious violence in each force area using hospital admissions for sharp object assault data.
The announcement comes after senior police officers made representations to the Home Secretary’s roundtable meeting on March 6 highlighting the costs required to confront the rising demands of violence.
Last month Willy Bach, who has pledged to get to the core of the knife crime epidemic sweeping Britain’s streets, announced a series of funding grants for projects which work directly with young people with the aim of turning them away from violence and gang life.