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 across several sectors. The Strategy places a greater emphasis on early intervention and prevention to tackle the root causes of serious violence and provide young people with the skills and resilience to lead productive lives free from crime.
On 1 April, we launched a consultation on a new legal duty to support a public health approach to preventing and tackling serious violence. The consultation closed on 28 May, and the Government response to the consultation will be published shortly.
On 13 March, an additional £100 million to tackle serious violence was announced at the Spring Statement. £63.4 million of this funding has been allocated to 18 police forces worst affected by serious violence to support increased police operational activity, and £1.6m is being used to improve the data available on knife crime to support police activity. On 17 April, we announced that the remaining £35m of this funding will be invested in the development of Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) in areas most affected by serious violence. The VRUs will bring together a range of agencies to address the causes of violence.
The Home Secretary has also established a new £200m Youth Endowment Fund that will provide targeted intervention and support over the next 10 years for those young people most at risk of serious violence. A key purpose will be to develop the evidence base demonstrating which interventions are most effective in deterring children and young people away from crime and violence and, since it will operate for a minimum of ten years, it will have the capacity to bring successful interventions all the way through from pilot stage to deployment at scale. The Fund will ensure that this vital learning is shared and help ensure that the most effective interventions are funded.
The Youth Endowment Fund became effective from the start of April. It is independent of Government and is being run by the charity Impetus, working in partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation and Social Investment Business. The first funding round is open for applications from 28 May until 23 July.