Serious Violence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:25 pm on 15th May 2019.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women 6:25 pm, 15th May 2019

If my hon. Friend will forgive me, I will resist the temptation to comment about the police station. He will know that the Home Secretary meets the chief constable and the police and crime commissioner not just of the west midlands but of all the police forces, and I am sure that that message has been heard loud and clear. We do return to the fact that, of course, such decisions are a matter for the police and crime commissioner. We are often keen to make the point that the reason we have police and crime commissioners is that they are answerable to the local population that they serve.

In the few months that the National County Lines Coordination Centre has been in operation, it has already seen more than 1,000 arrests and more than 1,300 vulnerable people safeguarded. That shows not only the complexity of the problem, but the scale of it. It is one reason why we have introduced the Offensive Weapons Bill, which, I hope, will receive Royal Assent tomorrow.