Crawley MP Henry Smith welcomes over £1.9m funding boost for Sussex, building on Government’s success in tackling violent crime

Crawley MP Henry Smith has welcomed a £1,903,054 funding boost to Sussex as part of the Government’s £130 million investment to tackle the most devastating types of crime – including knife crime, gun crime and homicide.

The 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.

Mr Smith said: “New figures reveal the success of Violence Reduction Units – preventing 49,000 violent offences, saving lives and breaking the cycle of crime.

"I’m delighted that this Government will therefore be investing more than an additional £1.9 million in Sussex, 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.

Crawley MP Henry Smith has welcomed a £1,903,054 funding boost to Sussex as part of the Government’s £130 million investment to tackle the most devastating types of crime – including knife crime, gun crime and homicide. Picture by Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament

"Along with the 20,000 new police officers being recruited nationally, this Government is building a safer Britain as we level up the country."

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 did not. This has resulted in an estimated £385 million avoided in associated costs for victims and society.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: "While we will never let up our relentless pursuit to see the worst criminals thrown behind bars, it is quite clear there are many factors that can lead a vulnerable person into a life of seemingly inescapable violence.

"If we are to succeed in our mission to level up the country, we must do more to reach those at risk of violence early on to break the cycle of crime.

"Our Beating Crime Plan is delivering 20,000 more police officers to our streets and galvanising all parts of the public sector to collaborate to tackle serious violence. This very approach lies at the heart of our Violence Reduction Units and as set out today, we’re seeing some extremely encouraging signs of progress."

The Crime & Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, 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."