Home Office allocates £51 million to police forces for increased action on knife crime ahead of Easter weekend

Home Secretary Sajid Javid today announced he is allocating an immediate £51 million for police forces to strengthen their response to serious violence

Police officers

The surge funding for forces worst affected by these crimes will enable them to bolster their operational activities. It will help them fund increased patrols and weapon sweeps, equipment for officers and overtime.

The additional investment comes from the £100 million serious violence fund announced by the government in March as part of its continued efforts to crackdown on violent crime.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

"Knife crime destroys lives and as Home Secretary I’m determined to do everything in my power to stamp it out.

"This funding will help the police forces worst affected by violent crime to up their response, including by increasing the number of officers out on the streets over the Easter weekend.

"The police are on the front line in the fight against serious violence and they have our full support."

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Martin Hewitt said:

"The announcement of additional funding for the most affected police forces to tackle violence is welcome.

"This will help forces to carry out activity that we know works, such as increasing the number of officers available to carry out targeted patrols in crime hotspots and increase our use of stop and search.

"Chief constables in these areas will now consider how best to use their additional resources.

"Police tactics alone will not prevent violence however and any solutions must involve government, education, health, social services and communities themselves."

It will be for chief constables to decide how to utilise the additional funding, but the money is intended to be used to support visible policing in hotspot areas. Funding is being allocated to 18 forces in England and Wales, and a full list of forces and the funding they have received will be published in due course.

The Home Office will work closely with the police to monitor and assess the impact of the funding, including improving the quality of data returns on serious violence and knife crime in particular.

Around a third of the serious violence fund will support the setting up of violence reduction units (VRUs) and other preventative activity across the country. VRUs are a multi-agency approach bringing together police, health, local government, and community representatives to tackle violent crime and its underlying causes.

The remaining money will be allocated in due course and will be used to support forces who see an escalation in violence during the year and to increase capacity in the policing system.

Today’s announcement follows a speech by the Home Secretary on Monday in which he called for a shift in mindset to tackle the spike in knife crime. Sajid Javid called on all parts of government to work together to eradicate violence, building on the government’s serious violence strategy and the Prime Minister’s serious youth violence summit in Downing Street this month. The summit brought together more than 100 attendees from a diverse range of backgrounds - including young people with experience living in communities impacted by serious violence, law enforcement, the voluntary sector and health and education experts - to explore what more we can do as a whole society to tackle knife crime.

On 1 April, the first day of the summit, the government began a consultation on a new legal duty to support a multi-agency or ‘public health’ approach to preventing and tackling serious violence.