The Chancellor announced in the Spring Statement today that this funding will ease policing pressures and will pay for police forces to have more officers available to respond to crime or patrol in communities.
The funding will also be invested in Violence Reduction Units, bringing together a range of agencies including health, education, social services and others, to develop a multi-agency approach in preventing knife crime altogether. The units will be based on models used in Glasgow where homicide rates fell by 54% from 2006/07 to 2015/16.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:
We know action is needed now to tackle knife crime which is blighting communities around the country. That’s why I’m announcing today that I’ve heard the calls from the police and the families affected by this devastating crime, and will make available an additional £100 million to spent over the course of the next year.
This money will be ringfenced to pay for increased police presence and patrolling to make our streets safer. But it will also go further in tackling the causes of this crime by investing in Violent Crime Reduction Units in worst affected areas.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
I am deeply concerned by the rising levels of knife crime that is devastating communities and robbing young people of their lives and futures.
I’ve been doing everything in my power to ensure we have the strongest possible response in place, but tackling this requires action on many fronts.
Law enforcement plays a key role - and it is clear from speaking to police leaders in recent weeks that they need an immediate increase in resources.
I’ve listened to their concerns and this £100 million – including £80 million new funding from the Treasury - will allow them to swiftly crack-down on knife crime on the areas of the country where it is most rife.
This is on top of the £970m of additional money that policing is already due to receive from April from the Government and Council Tax.
Today’s new funding covers one year, and is made up of £80 million Treasury funding with £20 million from Home Office reprioritisation for the financial year 2019/20.
The majority of the funding will be provided to Police and Crime Commissioners for the seven police forces where serious violence levels are highest, and which make up around 70% of knife crime. Those forces cover London, West Midlands, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Wales and Greater Manchester.
Final allocations to Police and Crime Commissioners will be confirmed in due course.
Separately, the Home Secretary has committed to tracking the impact that this funding is having and to work with policing to make sure this issue is prioritised and tackled.
This is on top of the £970 million of additional money that policing is already due to receive from April 2019, including additional funding that the Chancellor announced at last year’s Budget. Police and crime commissioners have already committed to the recruitment and training of nearly 3,000 extra police officers. Longer-term funding for the police will be confirmed at this year’s Spending Review.