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Social services to form part of new violence reduction units

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Social services will form part of multi-agency violence reduction units, under plans unveiled in today’s Spring Statement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged £100m next year to police forces in areas worst affected by violent crime to boost officer numbers.

Some of the money will be used to establish the violence reduction units, which will also include representatives from health services and education, to develop cross-agency collaboration to preventing knife crime.

The units will be based on approaches used in Glasgow where murder rates have fallen by 54% between 2006-7 and 2015-16.

The new funding includes £80m of new money from the Treasury and £20m through Home Office “reprioritisation”.

Most of the £100m will be allocated to police and crime commissioners in London, West Midlands, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Wales and Greater Manchester.

Mr Hammond said: “We know action is needed now to tackle knife crime which is blighting communities around the country.”

Stuart Gallimore, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said he was disappointed the Chancellor ”had failed to prioritise children, young people and families who are barely getting by in his spending plans”.

He added: ”Although additional funding for the police to help tackle rising levels of serious youth violence across the country is welcome as is the government’s commitment to ending period poverty through the creation of scheme like that already in place in Scotland and we await further details on this.”

Jas Athwal (Lab), London Councils’ executive member for crime and public protection, said: “This £100 million funding boost is an essential investment to allow the police and Violence Reduction Units to go further and faster in taking action to tackle deaths and injuries among London’s young people. We have all been distressed by the growth in serious youth violence and the loss of so many young lives.

“Councils have a key role to play in protecting vulnerable children and reducing youth violence in the long term, so it’s important that any investment reflects the importance of preventing knife crime as well as the important role the police play.”

 

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