Violent Crime

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 17th June 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his urgent question and for his attendance at the roundtable I hosted recently, along with the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, to update the House on our efforts to tackle serious violence. If I may say so, I think the hon. Gentleman has got the tone right. Putting aside comments from overseas or elsewhere, the job of work is to tackle serious violence.

The hon. Gentleman mentions police resources. He will know that London has already set up a serious violence taskforce and a violence reduction unit. The taskforce has some 300 dedicated officers—I have been out on a raid with them—targeting the hotspot areas within London. The commissioner and others in the policing world are doing specific work across the country to identify and target hotspot areas. I hope the hon. Gentleman welcomed the announcement in the spring statement of a further £100 million to tackle serious violence. The Met is receiving about £20 million of that to support surge policing. As I say, announcements will be made imminently in relation to the outstanding money and the creation of violence reduction units, as well as those that have already been created.

We have seen a huge increase in stop and search across the Met and other policing areas. We analyse this very carefully, and I am pleased that at the most recent meeting that the Home Secretary held with chief constables, they all reported that levels of complaints about stop and search have dropped dramatically. Many of us understand that to be because of the use of body-worn cameras, which provide reassurance not only to officers, but importantly, to the public.

In terms of discussions with MHCLG, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will have welcomed the recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the specific funding of knife crime projects.

On the spending review, we are working across Government to ensure that we have a cross-governmental spending review programme to help the children who are not just most at risk of serious violence, but have other forms of vulnerabilities, which, sadly, I have to deal with in my brief, including, for example, domestic abuse. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will understand that I cannot go into the specifics of the spending review at the moment, but the fact that we have seen an increase this year of more than £1 billion, including the £100 million in the spring statement, and that we have the help of police and crime commissioners, is a firm statement of intention by the Home Secretary and the Government. I thank him again for his urgent question.