Violent Crime

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

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

In the letter, we made clear that while the spring statement included £100 million for police forces, the Home Secretary had committed himself to making resources for them an absolute priority in our spending review. In our conversations with chief constables who are either already setting up violence reduction units locally in, for instance, the west midlands, or are beginning to do so as a result of this announcement, we fully acknowledge that the funds cannot be just for a single year.

As for the youth endowment fund, we have locked in the money over 10 years, precisely because we have listened to local charities and those who work closely with young people. They say that it is often the short-term resourcing that is a problem, so we are investing £200 million, although it is expected to be more over the 10-year period. To demonstrate the urgency that we have ascribed to this issue, we have managed to move £200 million off the Government books in, I think, an almost unprecedentedly short time—a matter of a couple of months—which will seem pretty extraordinary to anyone who has not served in a Government Department. We have put the fund into an independent charitable trust, which is running it. The bids for the first round will close on 23 July, so if there are local charities that Members think should apply, I ask them please to press them into doing so. We expect the trust to make the first announcements of bids in the autumn.