The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy published in April last year sets out our analysis of the trends and drivers of rises in violent crime. The strategy is clear that there are a range of factors driving increases in serious violence most notably changes in the drugs market. The focus of the strategy is on early intervention and prevention, together with a robust law enforcement response. The action delivered includes:
• Our Early Intervention Youth Fund of £22m which is already supporting 29 projects in England and Wales to deliver interventions to young people at risk of criminal involvement, gang exploitation and county lines
• A new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre to tackle violent and exploitative criminal activity associated with county lines
• The new Offensive Weapons Bill to strengthen legislation on fire-arms, knives and corrosive substances which has now completed its passage through Parliament
• Delivering our national knife crime media campaign - #knifefree - to raise awareness of the consequences of knife crime
On 2 October 2018 the Home Secretary announced further measures to address violent crime in the UK including:
• The new £200 million Youth Endowment Fund which will be delivered over 10 years and will support interventions with children and young people at risk of involvement in crime and violence, and which started this month.
• An Independent Review of Drug Misuse, to be chaired by Dame Carol Black, which will look into ways in which drugs are fuelling seri-ous violence
• A consultation on a new legal duty to underpin a ‘public health’ approach to tackling serious violence. This consultation launched on 1 April 2019.
On 13 March the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced further funding of £100 million in 2019/20 to help tackle the rise in serious violence. Two thirds of the funding will enable priority forces to immediately begin planning to put in place the additional capacity they need and the other third of the funding will be invested in Violence Reduction Units, bringing together a range of agencies to develop a multi-agency approach in preventing serious violence altogether. The initial allocation to forces of £51 million was announced on 17 April.
In addition to this funding, in 2019/20, total police funding will increase by around £970m including council tax precept, additional pensions funding and national investment, the most substantial investment in policing since 2010. The settlement for local government for 2019/20 will also mean that core spending power increases from £45.1bn in 2018/19 to £46.6bn in 2019/20. This settlement sees a real-terms increase in resources available to local authorities.