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Minister to look again at bid for violence reduction cash after plea from PCC

PHOTO-2020-03-31-13-58-56

PCC Barry Coppinger raised the lack of funding with Policing Minister Kit Malthouse on a conference call.

The Policing Minister Kit Malthouse is to look again at providing funding to tackle serious violence in Cleveland after Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger raised his concerns with him direct.

Cleveland has twice missed out on central government funding to establish a Violence Reduction Unit, despite having some of the highest levels of serious violence per 100,000 population in the country.

Mr Coppinger used the opportunity of a conference call Mr Malthouse held with police commissioners to outline the challenges the area faces and was delighted when the Minister promised to look again at the matter.

The Commissioner will now write to the Minister to set out the case for increased funding for Cleveland, the actions Cleveland Police, the Commissioner’s office and partners are already taking and how the additional funding can make a significant difference.

Mr Coppinger said: “I’m grateful to the Minister for taking the time to listen and welcome his assurance that he will look again at Cleveland’s case. This funding would make a significant difference and I’ll be urging all our local MPs to back our bid.”

During the pandemic the Commissioner’s team have continued to work with partners on a Cleveland-wide Serious Violence Prevention Strategy, which will develop initiatives to disrupt and eradicate violent behaviour at the earliest opportunity.

Cleveland has twice missed out on central government funding to establish a Violence Reduction Unit, despite having some of the highest levels of serious violence per 100,000 population in the country.

 Whilst the number of violent incidents has reduced during the Covid-19 lockdown, the Commissioner has urged leaders across the region not to lose sight of the problem.

He said: “A high level of serious violence is a public health emergency and should be treated as such. It requires a joined-up strategy between police, criminal justice agencies, health, social services and youth intervention agencies, an approach approved at our serious violence summit in February.

“Cleveland Police do a fantastic job in responding to violent crime, but by that point, another family has been shaken to the core by the serious injury or death of their loved one. And that is before we consider the damaging impact of serious violence on the wider community.

“We need significant investment to address the root causes of serious violence, to give us the chance to divert and intervene at the earliest opportunity those going down the wrong path.

“We are drawing together what funding we have to create a team to work with partners on this issue, but my plea to central government remains. We need all the support we can get to reduce the threat of serious violence to our communities.”

The PCC has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel on two occasions to highlight Cleveland’s lack of funding for serious violence, click below to read:

Letter to Home Secretary requesting additional funding to tackle serious violence in Cleveland and accompanying presentation (16 January 2020)  

Letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel calling on funding for tackling serious violence (16 August 2019)

 

Posted on Friday 22nd May 2020
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