Andrew Rosindell M.P. has directed inquiries to the Home Office regarding the specific measures being implemented to address knife crime within his Romford constituency.
This comes following an exponential increase in knife attacks in 'Greater London' under the leadership of Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he has taken to work with relevant authorities to tackle knife (a) possession and (b) crime among youth in (i) England and (ii) Romford constituency.
In response, Minister of State for Crime and Policing Chris Philip M.P. stated the following:
Tackling knife crime is a priority and the Government is determined to crack down on the scourge of violence devastating our communities.
We recently consulted on new legislative proposals to tackle knife crime and as a result, in the Criminal Justice Bill, we have introduced provisions to provide more powers for police to seize knives held in private that could be used in crimes, increase the maximum penalty for the offences of selling prohibited weapons and selling knives to under 18s. In the next few weeks, the Government intends to introduce a new ban on zombie-style machetes and knives.
As a result of the Government’s Police Uplift Programme (PUP) the Metropolitan police service has recruited 3,468 additional uplift officers against a total three-year allocation of 4,557 officers. The Metropolitan Police’s funding will be up to £3,581.1 million for 2024/25, an increase of up to £118.9 million when compared to 2023/24.
Under this Government, it has never been easier for the police to make legitimate use of stop and search powers. Every knife seized through stop and search is a potential life saved. In 2022-23, stop and search removed over 15,000 weapons and firearms from our streets and resulted over 74,000 arrests across England and Wales. In Essex there were over 2,000 resultant arrests following a stop and search and almost 4,600 searches resulted in a stolen or prohibited article being found in 2022-23.
The Home Office has invested over £160m since 2019 into the development of 20 Violence Reduction Units across England and Wales with a further £55m made available for 2023/24. Since 2019, we have provided over £43 million to develop and run the London Violence Reduction Unit, which covers Havering. This includes an investment of £9.5m in 2023/24. Violence Reduction Units deter people, particularly young people, from becoming involved in serious violence by bringing together partners from health, probation, policing, housing and beyond and investing in the best evidence-based interventions.
Through our Grip programme, we are providing additional funding to enable the Metropolitan police to boost patrols in specific streets and neighbourhoods most affected by violence, including Romford High Street. This programme is providing regular, visible patrols to deter violence and provide community reassurance as well as problem-oriented policing.
Problem-oriented policing is based on an analytical approach that seeks to identify and respond to the specific drivers of violence as they affect the particular location, so that working with partners, the police can take effective preventative action to tackle these. Since 2019, we have provided The Met Police with c.£51.8 million for their delivery of the programme and have awarded them a further c.£8.9 million for this (23/24) financial year.
Violence Reduction Units, in combination with GRIP, have delivered a statistically significant reduction in hospital admissions for violent injuries since funding began in 2019 (an estimated 3,220 admissions have been prevented in areas where the programmes operate).
Over 10 years the Home Office is investing £200m in early intervention and prevention initiatives to help children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund.
The YEF have funded the SW!TCH Lives project in Romford, which aimed to promote positive actions and emotions and reduce risky behaviour by providing young people with consistent, positive role models, weekly mentoring and positive peer networks. They have also funded ‘You and Me Counselling’ as part of the COVID-19 Learning Project, which aimed to provide targeted support to young people at risk of being involved in violence; and second, to learn fast about the best ways to reach young people during a period of social distancing.