West Yorkshire PCC Statement after Home Office announcement of £130.5m to tackle serious violence, murder and knife crime
8th March 2021
The Home Office today announced a package which includes £30m for police to surge activity in serious violence hotspots and new money for early interventions to steer young people away from crime .
West Yorkshire will receive £1,568,000 of the monies announced today. (MON)
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson OBE who is also the national APCC lead for tackling serious violence and said:
“Just before Christmas, I publicly made the case for additional funding to help tackle the impact of serious violent crime in West Yorkshire in the wake of the Covid pandemic impact and I am glad to see that the Home Office has now recognised this.
"I will be working closely with our Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police and many community safety partners to ensure it is invested and targeted in ways that deliver the greatest impact for our local communities.
“Tackling serious violent Crime remains one of my key priorities and both the VRU and West Yorkshire Police’s Operation Jemlock have recorded some impressive outcomes since their inception and we are seeing fewer victims as a result.
“It is crucial, however, that we sustain that level of pressure, acting at the earliest opportunity to change behaviours, intervening and educating our young people on the dangers of violent behaviours.
“With this latest announcement and over £1.5m earmarked for police activity in West Yorkshire, we can make greater inroads to addressing serious violent crime in conjunction with our partners over the next 12 months. However, I have always said that this is a longer term challenge that needs to be addressed over the next 3yr Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) which I will continue to make the case for to Government.”
Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh said:
“This latest announcement is really positive news for West Yorkshire and will mean that we can continue in our momentum to both prevent and reduce serious crime from occurring.
“Already, the Violence Reduction Unit in West Yorkshire has invested significantly into local intervention programmes that help to stop young people being drawn into violence.
“For instance, we have projects now underway in A&E departments of hospitals that identify those involved in serious violence, directing them into the relevant support services.
“Likewise, we have custody diversion schemes ongoing alongside the St Giles Trust that support those who are at risk or vulnerable to exploitation.
“This additional Home Office funding for new early intervention programmes will essentially lay the foundation for long term change and enable us to carry on in our unique public health led approach.
“Coupled with the investment into targeted police action, we can begin to turn the tide on serious violence, particularly as we begin to emerge from the social repercussions of the Covid pandemic.”