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More funding to fight violent crime

11 March 2009

The government will invest an extra £5m to fight knife violence and other serious crime.

The new funding will extend the successful tackling knives action programme for another year, and add two new areas (Kent and Hampshire) to it.

The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary said the investment was part of the government’s effort to crack down on the small number of young people who commit the most violent crime.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ‘Knife crime and all forms of serious youth violence damage communities, destroy lives, and rob families of hope.

‘We will continue to take tough action - across police work, tougher sentencing, and also stronger prevention - to make our streets safer and send a clear message to the minority of young people involved in violence that they will not get away with it.’

What the programme does

The tackling knives action programme (TKAP) sends a clear message that if someone carries a knife, they are likely to be caught, prosecuted and punished.

It uses innovative anti-crime techniques and a high-visibility police presence to help communities vulnerable to knife crime. It also features education and activities for young people, in order to offer them alternatives to crime and street life.

Early TKAP figures show that since June 2008, police have stopped and searched more than 150,000 people, and seized 3000 knives.
The government is also working with the Youth Justice Board (new window) to extend crime prevention programmes and educate young people on the potential consequences of carrying a knife.

Standing 'shoulder-to-shoulder'

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said, 'We all need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to get knives off our streets and protect young people from knife crime.

'By continuing this targeted programme of action and extending the remit to include 13 to 24 year olds, I want to make it clear that I am committed to tackling the core minority of young people who persist in committing serious violence.

'Alongside our £100m Youth Crime Action Plan, we aim to prevent young people getting involved in crime in the first place and stop them re-offending if they do.'

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