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

I thank the right hon. Lady. I am always very happy, of course, to meet those who have lost loved ones, as her constituents have, particularly those who are extraordinary in being able to found charities to help tackle serious violence.

The point of the violence reduction units is that they are bringing all the partner agencies together. As I say, we are investing £35 million from the £100 million available. I should add that that £35 million will be invested in VRUs and police forces that are most affected by violent crime—between 10 and 20 forces nationally. The details are being finalised. This partnership working will enable local authorities to play their part, in addition to the increased funding they are getting, as announced by my colleagues in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Criminals are buying children’s lives, and their misery, for the cheapest of prices. It is sometimes a new pair of trainers or a few pounds a week—and of course that is before the drug debts are called in. We have to offer them more. That is why, following the Prime Minister’s summit, I will be working with businesses to create opportunities for young people to provide them with a route away from violent crime.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford set out, no young person should grow up without hope, prospects or opportunities. There is an alternative to a life of violence. If we work together, we can offer young people a chance to make something more of their lives and stop the senseless killing. We can—and, if we all work together, we will—offer them a dream of a future.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered the matter of serious violence.