Additional £1.1 million from the Home Office to help tackle violent crime in Essex
Essex has received an additional £1.1 million to help fund the county’s multi-agency approach to understanding and tackling the causes of violent crime.
The Home Secretary Priti Patel made the announcement yesterday (Sunday, December 29). The money will be given to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex and will be used to continue running the Essex Violence Reduction Unit.
The Essex Violence Reduction Unit brings together different organisations including police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners to prevent serious violence by understanding its root causes.
Violence Reduction Units form one strand of the Government’s action to tackle serious violence. This also includes putting 20,000 new police officers on the streets, providing the police with more powers to stop and search those who have been convicted of knife crime and putting violent criminals behind bars for longer.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“I will not tolerate the criminals who seek to draw our young people into a life of violence.
“We are delivering on the people’s priorities by recruiting 20,000 new police officers and introducing tougher sentences to keep offenders behind bars for longer, but agencies must also work together to tackle this issue head on.
“These units are playing a vital role in diverting young people away from crime – and the funding will allow them to continue this important work.”
Since it was set up earlier this year, the Essex Violence Reduction Unit has funded several early intervention projects that aim to divert young people away from committing violent crime in the first place. These include projects like electronic tagging of those arrested for violent offences, as well as placing youth workers in Basildon Hospital to help those caught up in knife crime and steer them away from a life of violence.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
“With partners from across Essex we have been working hard to tackle violence in our communities. Over the last year, we have invested in a range of activities to support young people at risk of being exploited while strengthening our enforcement activities against those who aim to exploit them. Working in hospitals, schools, social clubs and on our streets we are effectively reaching out and tackling the root causes of gang activity that draw young people into a life of crime.
“The extra funding announced by the Government means we will be able to do even more to tackle violence by investing in programmes that are delivering real results and making a difference for people in our communities.”
Essex Violence Reduction Unit has been tasked with delivering both short and long-term strategies to tackle violent crime at a local level through multi-agency working.
As well as awarding Essex PFCC funding last year to set up the Violence Reduction Unit, £2.9m was also awarded to Essex Police from the Government’s £100 million Serious Violence Fund to provide an immediate operational response to serious violence.
The announcement also follows a commitment from the Government to create a legal duty on public bodies to work together to tackle and prevent serious violence.