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Crimes of Violence

Question for Home Office

UIN 127021, tabled on 8 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce violent crime in (a) West Yorkshire and (b) England.

Answered on

16 December 2020

The Government is committed to delivering on the people’s priorities by tackling violent crime. This means giving the police the resources and powers they need to make a difference. In January this year we announced the biggest funding increase in a decade for the police system and we are recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers over next three years including 6,000 additional officers by the end of financial year 2020/21. In the 18 Police Force areas worst affected by serious violence, we have invested a total of £176.5 million over two years (2019-21) to deliver a whole-systems response, including police surge funding and Violence Reduction Units.

£104.9 million has been invested in Police Surge funding to pay for a surge in police operational activity. West Yorkshire Police have been allocated £6,655,315. This has paid for additional capacity through overtime, allowing for increased patrols in greater numbers for longer periods of times, new equipment and technology, improved intelligence and targeting, and an enhanced investigative response.

The Government has invested £70m over two years (19/20 – 20/21) in establishing multi-agency Violence Reduction Units (VRUs). £6,740,000 of this was invested into the West Yorkshire PCC to develop the West Yorkshire VRU. VRUs bring together police, local government, health and education professionals, community leaders and other key partners to identify the drivers of serious violence and agree a multi-agency response. This funding has supported the development of strategic needs assessments to identify the local risks and drivers of serious violence, as well as a range of activity to respond to these drivers, such as improved data quality and sharing, and a range of interventions such as teachable moments (e.g. A&E hospital and custody navigators), an independent domestic violence advocacy service and mentoring in schools and alternative provision sites.

VRUs have distributed a further £2.9 million to hundreds of frontline charities working on violence prevention projects which support vulnerable children and young people. More than 300 charities will share in the financial assistance. The West Yorkshire VRU received £285,168 of this funding and is supporting 40 charities and have already reached 2865 children.

Since October 2018 we have also been continuing to deliver the ten-year £200m Youth Endowment Fund, to tackle the drivers behind serious youth violence. On 6 May 2020, the YEF launched a new £6.5 million COVID-19 grant round to support vulnerable young people, aged 10 to 14, at risk of youth violence. In total 16 grantees in Yorkshire & Humber are in receipt of funding from all grant rounds.

We have also announced new legislation which will aim to prevent and reduce serious violence by creating a new duty (and extending an existing duty) on public sector bodies to collaborate and plan with each other to prevent and reduce serious violence.

Answered by

Home Office