Tackling knife crime is a top government priority and we are working tirelessly to keep our young people, families, and communities safe. Home Office colleagues and I, as Policing Minister, are redoubling our efforts with a twin-track approach, combining tough enforcement to get dangerous weapons off the streets – including through stop and search methods – with programmes that steer young people away from crime.
This financial year we have invested £64m in our network of Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) which bring together local partners to tackle the drivers of violence in their area. VRUs are delivering a range of early intervention and prevention programmes to divert people away from a life of crime. I am pleased that they have reached over 215,000 vulnerable young people in their third year of funding alone.
Our £30m ‘Grip’ programme operates in these same 20 areas as VRUs and is helping to drive down violence by using a highly data-driven process to identify violence hotspots – often to individual street level – and target operational activity in those areas. In their first three years of funded delivery, these programmes have collectively prevented an estimated 136,000 violence without injury offences.
In addition, the Serious Violence Duty which commenced on 31st January requires a range of public bodies to work together to prevent and reduce serious violence in their local area.
It is thanks to these actions, along with the hard work of law enforcement and those who oversee local community programmes, that violence is down by 38% since Labour left government in 2010.