New unit to help police tackle violent crime in Sussex

The Government have awarded Sussex £880,000 to set up specialist teams to tackle violent crime.

The cash is being awarded after Police and Crime Commissioners in the 18 areas worst affected by serious violence secured their provisional allocation through successful bids.

These units will bring together police, local authorities, health and community leaders to identify root causes and drivers of violent crime and co-ordinate their response. Each unit will be tasked with delivering both short- and long-term strategies.

The £35 million for violence reduction units comes from a £100 million serious violence fund announced in March.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Katy Bourne, has welcomed the Home Office funding:

This significant boost to funding follows the £1,340,000 that I have secured for Sussex to combat serious violent crime. Combined with other successful bids we have made this year, it means Sussex Police and partners have received just over £3million of funding to address youth crime and exploitation, knife crime and modern slavery.

The announcement follows a roundtable at Downing Street, hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, bringing together the police, probation and prisons leaders to discuss how to cut crime and improve the criminal justice system.

The Prime Minister has vowed to give police the powers and resources they need to urgently tackle serious violence, cut crime and target county lines gangs.

Recruitment of 20,000 new police officers – a commitment made by the Prime Minister when he took office – will begin next month. Yesterday, the Home Secretary confirmed that all 43 police forces in England and Wales can use enhanced stop and search powers.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: 

To beat knife crime we must do two things: first we need assertive, high profile police enforcement and second, we need a coordinated approach to the long term solutions to violence in society, especially amongst the young. These new units should help us get results on both.

Assistant Chief Constable Julia Chapman said:

The announcement today of £880,000 from the Home Office will go a long way in continuing our early intervention work with partners and communities, helping stop crime before it starts. We are extremely grateful for the support from the PCC’s office in helping us progress these programmes, and develop new ones, such as the Violence Reduction Units.

Mrs Bourne added:

The public health approach to violence reduction that was pioneered in Scotland will be extended and adapted in 18 areas of England and Wales. We know that it works. Our early intervention REBOOT programme is already having an immediate and positive impact for young people, their families and their communities, and I am very keen to see more targeted partnership interventions at the prevention stage that the VRUs will lead.

REBOOT is a personalised, one-to-one support package for children and young people who are at risk of engaging in serious violence and gang behaviour.

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