Serious Violence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 15th May 2019.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for the Home Department 2:49 pm, 15th May 2019

I understand why the hon. Lady raises this point, but she might be interested to know that the increase in stop-and-search in London in the last year has resulted in very few complaints, and one reason is the increased use of body-worn cameras. Police forces across the country are telling me that thanks to digital technology and evidence gathering they are seeing very few complaints about stop-and-search, especially compared with the levels of the past. She was right to mention innocent young black men—I think that was the phrase she used—but the increase is saving their lives. No innocent young person, no matter who they are or what their colour or background, should be faced with serious violence on our streets. Stop-and-search saves lives. That is why it is being used.

Secondly, we are investing in our young people’s future. Yes, a tough law enforcement response is essential, but by the time the police are called the damage is often already done. To save more lives, we must stop the violence before it starts by helping young people to avoid a life of crime. Giving teenagers more opportunities can transform their lives. I saw that at first hand last week—just a few days ago—when I visited a new OnSide youth zone in Dagenham. That is why we are investing £220 million in early intervention work, the largest investment of this type that we have ever made. Last month I announced that our £200 million youth endowment fund would be run by a charity called Impetus. The 10-year programme will deliver long-term help to those who are most in need, and young people will soon start to benefit, as the first funding round is expected to be launched shortly. The £22 million early youth intervention fund has already supported 29 projects.

I would like to thank the Victims Minister, the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend Victoria Atkins. She is unable to join us at the moment, because she is chairing a roundtable on migrant workers and domestic abuse, but she will be here later.