Knives: Crime

Home Office written question – answered on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle knife crime in the UK.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

This Government is taking determined action to tackle knife crime and other serious violence. This includes giving the police the resources and tools they need to keep families, communities and our country safe. The Government has recently launched a national campaign to begin to recruit 20,000 new police officers over the next three years, and we are making it easier for the police to use stop and search powers. We are also giving police forces an additional £10 million to allow them to increase the number of officers who carry tasers to help protect themselves and the public from harm.

Police funding is increasing by more than £1 billion this year, including council tax and additional funding through the £100 million Serious Violence Fund. This Fund includes £63.4 million for surge operational activity, £35 million to support Violence Reduction Units, and £1.6 million to help improve the quality of data on serious violence.

In addition, through the Offensive Weapons Act 2019, the Government is providing the police with more powers, and making it more difficult for young people to get hold of knives in the first place. The Act includes Knife Crime Prevention Orders which will give the police an important new tool to help them to work with people to steer them away from serious violence and knife crime.

The Government continues to encourage all police forces to undertake a series of coordinated national weeks of action to tackle knife crime under Operation Sceptre. The operation includes targeted stop and searches, weapon sweeps, surrender of knives, including through amnesty bins, test purchases of knives from retailers, and educational events. The latest phase of the operation took place from 17 to 22 September.

The Government is also addressing the root causes of crime by investing over £220 million in early intervention projects and in the Queens Speech on 14 October, it was announced that we would be bringing forward a new Serious Violence Bill to introduce a new legal duty on public bodies to prevent and tackle serious violence.

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