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

The hon. Lady has been a consistent advocate for her constituents, who have been so tragically affected by the rise of county lines. I remember a debate more than a year ago in Westminster Hall where she spoke passionately of the impact on mothers affected by serious violence and homicides in her constituency. The National Crime Agency has set county lines and the exploitation of children as a national threat; it is co-ordinating the national level operations because it has the national overview. That is where the national county lines co-ordination centre comes in, to help co-ordinate activities across force boundaries, because as the hon. Lady will acknowledge, these gangs to do not respect constabulary boundaries. We have the extra funding—the £100 million serious violence fund that is going into London and other areas affected—and of course we have just over £1 billion of extra funding for policing nationally. The hon. Lady will know from the many conversations she and I have had about this issue that it is as much about early intervention and prevention as about law enforcement, and the £200 million youth endowment fund, alongside the early intervention youth fund which is already operating and helping up to 29 projects across the country, will help reach those children she cares so passionately about.