Tackling serious violence is a top priority for the Government and it is clear we must continue to step up the response to stop this violence. The Serious Violence Strategy sets out the Government’s approach, which depends on a multi-agency approach working across several sectors and stresses the importance of early intervention to tackle the root causes.
Since launching the Strategy in April last year, we have progressed in deliver-ing on our key commitments which support early intervention and prevention
• delivery of the Early Intervention Youth Fund of £22m which is supporting 29 projects in England and Wales, with over £4m of funding to
London projects including a Pan London rescue and response county lines project which targets young people up to the age of 25 who are
being exploited, or at risk of exploitation, through county lines;
• delivery of the anti-knife crime Community Fund which provided £1.5m in 2018/19 to support 68 projects, with a continued focus on local multi-strand partnership approach to tackling serious violence. The Immediate Theatre, Hackney received £30k from the 2018/19 Fund to deliver
positive community activities to people living in an area of high crime; and
• delivery of the national knife crime media campaign – #knifefree - to raise awareness of the consequences of knife crime.
In addition, on 1 April we launched a public consultation on a new legal duty to support a ‘public health’ multi-agency approach to preventing and tackling serious violence. This statutory duty would make serious violence a top priority for all key partners, ensuring that they are working together to prevent young people being caught in the criminal cycle. The consultation, closes on 28 May, can be found on the Gov.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?departments%5B%5D=home-office&publication_filter_option=consultations
On 13 March the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a further £100m funding in 2019/20 to help in the police’s immediate response to the rise in serious knife crime, enabling priority forces to immediately begin planning to put in place the additional capacity they need. £63.4m of this funding has already been allocated to 18 police forces worst affected by serious violence to pay for surge operational activity, such as increased patrols. This includes £20.84m to the Metropolitan Police Service. £35m of this Serious Violence Fund will support the setting up of Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) and associated preventative activity in areas most affected by serious violence.
In October 2018 the Home Secretary announced a ten-year £200m Youth Endowment Fund, focused on targeted early intervention with those children and young people most vulnerable to involvement in serious violence. This will form an important part of the multi-agency, public health; approach to serious violence.
On 1 April 2019 the Prime Minister hosted a Serious Youth Violence Summit at 10 Downing Street, with the support of the Home Secretary and Secretaries of State. The central aim of the summit was to ensure a shared understanding and commitment to a multi-agency, ‘public health’ approach to tackling knife crime and serious violence more generally. An outcome of the Summit is the creation of a new Ministerial Taskforce, chaired by the Prime Minister, to drive cross-government action. This will be supported by a new, dedicated, serious violence team in the Cabinet Office to support cross-departmental coordination.