Conservative Press Release: Local MPs Ben Everitt and Iain Stewart have welcomed a £2.8 million funding boost for Thames Valley Police as part of the Conservative Government’s £130 million investment to tackle the most devastating types of crime – including knife crime, gun crime and homicide.
Ben and Iain have been engaging with Thames Valley Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Home Secretary Priti Patel on tackling knife crime in Milton Keynes and ensuring the recruitment of new police officers with Thames Valley Police now having more officers than ever before.
The Conservative Government also revealed that Violence Reduction Units and ‘hotspot policing’ initiatives prevented 49,000 violent offences across England and Wales, as it set out an ambitious funding programme to build on these efforts to tackle serious violence.
Set up in 2019, Violence Reduction Units are a pioneering initiative established in 18 areas across England and Wales, bringing together local partners in policing, education and health, and local government, to share information in order to identify vulnerable children and adults at risk, helping steer them away from a life of crime and violence.
Figures published in an evaluation of these Violence Reduction Units’ first 18 months of operation demonstrate the impacts they are having up and down the country, changing lives and reducing violent crime.
Areas that have rolled out Violence Reduction Units saw 8,000 fewer incidents of violence leading to injury and 41,000 fewer incidents without injury, compared with areas that didn’t. This has resulted in an estimated £385 million avoided in associated costs for victims and society.
Initiatives include ‘Weapons Down Gloves Up’ – engaging young people out of work through boxing, while partnering them with a civil engineering company to help them gain manufacturing qualifications. Elsewhere, a dedicated team of ‘Navigators’ worked across A&E departments and with Northwest Ambulance Service and local communities, helping young people recover after an experience of violence and prevent it happening again.
Iain Stewart, the MP for Milton Keynes South, said: “New figures reveal the success of our Violence Reduction Units – preventing 49,000 violent offences, saving lives and breaking the cycle of crime.
“I am delighted that this Conservative Government will therefore be investing an additional £2.8 million in Thames Valley Police and the wider community, building on this success and diverting some of the most vulnerable away from a life of criminality – saving lives and preventing the most devastating crimes.”
Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, commented: "This funding boost for Thames Valley Police is extremely welcome and I'm pleased to learn a large portion of that funding will be for Milton Keynes.
"I know there is a lot of concern around knife crime locally and this extra money, as well as the extra police officers we've recruited, can help us ensure the streets of Milton Keynes are safe."
Kit Malthouse, Crime and Policing Minister, added: “The very worst part of my job is hearing from families who have lost loved ones to violence and finding out that something could have been done to prevent it.
“We must do more to reach those at risk of violence early on to break the cycle of crime. Only then will we truly level up the country and give everyone the security of a safe street and home.
“We're throwing everything we have at this. At the heart, our pioneering Violence Reduction Units galvanise all parts of the public sector to tackle violent crime, and this approach is really starting to work.”