John has welcomed a £2,815,307 funding boost to Thames Valley Police as part of the Government’s £130 million investment to tackle some of the most devastating types of crime – including knife crime, gun crime and homicide.
The Government also reported that Violence Reduction Units and ‘hotspot policing’ initiatives prevented 49,000 violent offences across England and Wales, as it set out an ambitious funding programme to build on these efforts to tackle serious violence. Set up in 2019, Violence Reduction Units were established in 18 areas across England and Wales, bringing together local partners in policing, education and health, and local government, to share information in order to identify vulnerable children and adults at risk, helping steer them away from a life of crime and violence.
Figures published in an evaluation of these Violence Reduction Units’ first 18 months of operation demonstrate the impacts they are having up and down the country, changing lives and reducing violent crime. Areas that have rolled these Units saw 8,000 fewer incidents of violence leading to injury and 41,000 fewer incidents without injury, compared with areas that didn’t. This has resulted in an estimated £385 million avoided in associated costs for victims and society.
Commenting, John said: “The success of the Violence Reduction Units is good news not only saving lives but also breaking the cycle of crime. I am delighted that the Government will therefore be investing additionally over £3.8 million in Thames Valley and the wider community, building on this success and diverting some of the most vulnerable away from a life of crime.
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel said: While we will never let up our relentless pursuit to see the worst criminals thrown behind bars, it is quite clear there are many factors that can lead a vulnerable person into a life of seemingly inescapable violence. If we are to succeed in our mission to level up the country, we must do more to reach those at risk of violence early on to break the cycle of crime. Our Beating Crime Plan is delivering 20,000 more police officers to our streets and galvanising all parts of the public sector to collaborate to tackle serious violence. This very approach lies at the heart of our Violence Reduction Units and as set out today, we’re seeing some extremely encouraging signs of progress.”
Crime & Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse added: The very worst part of my job is hearing from families who have lost loved ones to violence and finding out that something could have been done to prevent it. We must do more to reach those at risk of violence early on to break the cycle of crime. Only then will we truly level up the country and give everyone the security of a safe street and home. We're throwing everything we have at this. At the heart, our pioneering Violence Reduction Units galvanise all parts of the public sector to tackle violent crime, and this approach is really starting to work.”