This fact sheet was updated on 16 July 2019 to include the Home Secretary’s recent announcement of a new public health duty to tackle serious violence.
- On 15 July 2019 the Home Secretary announced a new legal duty on public bodies to prevent and tackle serious violence.
- The new ‘public health duty’ will cover the police, local councils, local health bodies, education representatives and youth offending services. It will ensure that relevant services work together to share data, intelligence and knowledge to understand and address the root causes of serious violence including knife crime. It will also allow them to target their interventions to prevent and stop violence altogether.
- In addition, the government will amend the Crime and Disorder Act to ensure that serious violence is an explicit priority for Community Safety Partnerships, which include local police, fire and probation services, by making sure they have a strategy in place to tackle violent crime.
- On 26 June 2019 the Home Secretary announced that the remaining £3.3 million of the £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund would be distributed to 10 areas to support projects for young people to prevent them getting drawn into crime and to help them make more positive life choices.
- The Home Secretary also announced an additional £1.5 million of funding for the third year of the Anti-Knife Crime Community Fund, which will go towards small community projects to reduce knife crime. The fund has already supported 115 projects over the 2 years it has been running.
- At the start of June the Home Secretary provisionally allocated £35 million to Police and Crime Commissioners in 18 local areas to set up violence reduction units.
- Violence reduction units will take a multi-agency approach, bringing together police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners to tackle violent crime and its underlying causes.
- The cash for violence reduction units is in addition to the recent £63.4 million surge funding given to forces across England and Wales that are worst affected by serious violence and knife crime, and comes from the £100 million serious violence fund announced by the government in March 2019 as part of its continued action to crack down on violent crime.
- The remaining £1.6 million of the £100 million serious violence fund went to forces to improve the quality of data on serious violence, particularly knife crime, to support planning and operations.
- A full breakdown on the £100 million serious violence fund and where the funds have been allocated can be found in the Appendix below.
- At the start of June 2019, 20,000 Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) teachers were sent new lesson plans to further equip them to challenge myths and communicate to their pupils the dangers of carrying a knife.
- The lessons were created in partnership with the PSHE Association and teachers to create new and improved school curriculum materials on knife crime ahead of the summer holidays, and feature real-life case studies from the latest #knifefree campaign along with new content on the importance of having good role models. Go to www.knifefree.co.uk for further information on the campaign.
- In May 2019 the Offensive Weapons Act received Royal Assent, bringing in tough new measures that strengthen law enforcement’s response to violent crime.
- The Act will make it illegal to possess dangerous weapons in private, including knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star knives, and will stop knives being sent to residential addresses after they are bought online, unless the seller has arrangements in place with the delivery company to ensure that the product would not be delivered in to the hands of a person under 18.
- The Act will also bring in Knife Crime Prevention Orders to help the police target those most at risk of being drawn into serious violence, to set them on a more positive path.
- The Offensive Weapons Act will also create a new offence of possessing acid or corrosive substances in a public place without good reason and prevent the sale, both in-store and online, to persons under 18 of those products that contain acid or other harmful corrosive substances.
- The Serious Violence Taskforce, chaired by the Home Secretary, meets regularly to drive delivery of the Serious Violence Strategy. It brings together Ministers, MPs, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the London Mayor, senior police leaders and public sector and voluntary sector chief executives.
- At a Taskforce meeting in April 2019, the Home Secretary confirmed that the new £1.38 million government-funded social media hub will be fully operational at the end of May. A 17-strong team of police staff and officers will disrupt and remove overt and covert gang-related online content.
- On 1 April 2019, the Prime Minister hosted the Serious Youth Violence Summit in Downing Street, bringing together attendees from a diverse range of backgrounds including law enforcement, health, the voluntary sector and education, and young people with experience living in communities impacted by serious violence.
- The Government also announced it is empowering at least 3,000 more officers to authorise enhanced stop and search powers, which allow the police to search anyone in a designated area without needing reasonable grounds of suspicion if serious violence in anticipated.
- We recognise the demands facing the police and this year the Government has increased funding by more than £1 billion, including council tax and new serious violence funding. As a result, police and crime commissioners have set out plans to recruit around 3,000 more officers.
- Alongside support for the police, the Home Office continues to focus on early intervention as a key to reducing serious violence. It has appointed the charitable foundation Impetus to manage its £200 million Youth Endowment Fund, to help prevent young people being drawn into a life of crime and violence.
- The Serious Violence Strategy, published in April 2018, sets out an ambitious programme of work with 61 commitments for further action. This includes the £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund, through which we have already provided £17.7 million funding for 29 projects endorsed by Police and Crime Commissioners.
- A £3.6 million National Police Chiefs Council /National Crime Agency led National County Lines Coordination Centre was launched on 21 September 2018. Since then it has overseen operations leading to more than 1,600 arrests and the protection of 2,100 individuals.
- In March, the Home Secretary chaired the second Chief Constables' roundtable, aimed at sharing experience and policing strategies for tackling violent crime. The group represents police forces from across the country, particularly areas most impacted by knife crime.
- We have published our draft Domestic Abuse Bill and have pledged £100 million in dedicated funding until 2020 to tackle violence against women and girls.
- Meanwhile, an independent review of drug misuse, led by Professor Dame Carol Black, will seek to ensure that law enforcement agencies and policy are targeting and preventing the drug-related causes of violent crime effectively.
Serious Violence Fund Allocations
|Force Area||Original surge allocation (April 2019)||Additional surge allocation (May 2019)||Provisional funding for VRU (June 2019)|
|Avon and Somerset||£1,500,000||£220,000||1,160,000|
|Total England & Wales||£51,000,000||£12,400,000||£34,760,000|
Note: The remainder of the £100 million serious violence fund has been allocated as follows:
£1.6 million: to help improve the quality of data on serious violence, particularly knife crime, to support planning and operations
£240,000: to support central evaluation of violence reduction units