Public Expenditure

Treasury written question – answered at on 17 April 2024.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Labour, Bootle

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Spring Budget 2024, whether he has made an estimate of the potential return on investment of (a) violence reduction units, (b) hot spot policing, (c) increasing the capacity of children's homes and (d) the building of 15 new special free schools.

Photo of Laura Trott Laura Trott The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

These measures are part of the Public Sector Productivity Review, which will deliver up to £1.8 billion worth of benefits by 2029.

We have committed £75 million to expand the Violence Reduction Unit model across England and Wales, supporting a prevention-first approach to serious violence. Violence Reduction Units enable local public services such as health boards, schools and police leaders to coordinate their joint strategy to tackle serious violence among young people, preventing violent crime and reducing burdens on healthcare, schools and criminal justice.

As part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, we committed £66.3 million to scale up hotspot enforcement. From April 2024, hotspot response will be rolled out across every police force area in England and Wales, which will see thousands of additional high visibility patrols in the places most affected by Serious Violence and Anti-Social Behaviour.

An independent evaluation found that in 2022/23, VRUs and hotspot policing prevented 3,220 hospital admissions from violent injury – a statistically significant drop. Please find a link to the evaluation here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/violence-reduction-units-year-ending-march-2023-evaluation-report/violence-reduction-units-2022-to-2023#:~:text=In%202022%2C%20a%20further%202,data%20sharing%20and%20analysis.

On increasing the capacity of children’s homes, the Government announced £165 million of funding over the next 4 years to reduce the reliance of local authorities on costly emergency provision.

Finally, the building of 15 new special free schools through £105 million of investment over the next 4 years will deliver over 2,000 additional special places for children with special education needs and disabilities.

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