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Chief constables meeting with the Home Secretary about violent crime "constructive"

06 Mar 2019

Chief constables meeting with the Home Secretary about violent crime "constructive": sara home sec

Police chiefs met the Home Secretary today to talk about what more can be done to stop young people dying on our streets.

Today's meeting involved NPCC Chair CC Sara Thornton, along with police chiefs from seven forces hardest hit by violent crime. Chiefs told the Home Secretary that "bringing violence down is a police priority and police officers across the country are putting in huge effort."

Our tactics include:

  • Targeted patrols in crime hotspots, based on the latest information, tasked on a daily basis to high harm locations.
  • Increased use of stop and search, using body worn cameras to improve accountability.
  • Increasing the use of section 60 powers for widespread stop and search in a specific area where there is evidence that serious violence has taken place or may take place.
  • Disrupting gangs and crime groups that drive violence.
  • Increasing focus on county lines drug dealing (more than 650 children and young people having been protected in a recent week-long operation against county lines.)

Chiefs have said the solutions are much wider than policing and supported a public health approach.  But immediate action is needed and chiefs have called for:

  • Violent crime to be treated as a national emergency: This requires emergency funding which would see us increase operational activity in affected areas. We know that our tactics work, but the challenge is having enough officers to use them. Emergency money could be used to pay for officer overtime and facilitate mutual aid where officers are moved around the country where the problems are greatest.
  • Further long term funding: Police budgets are growing, with an extra £970 million more than the previous year. However, this is not enough and continued long-term funding is needed.
  • All of government to play its part: Leadership to get the right people around the table with a senior minister holding all the agencies and departments to account for what they're doing to reduce serious violence. Chief constables are very concerned about the levels of school exclusions, with around 40 permanent exclusions per day in 2016/17, many children attending pupil referral units for just one hour a week and unchallenged truancy from schools. These children are at high risk of becoming involved in violent crime, either as perpetrators or victims.

National Police Chiefs' Council Chair CC Sara Thornton said:

“Our meeting with the Home Secretary was very constructive. Police chiefs asked for emergency funding to increase operational activity in affected areas to bear down on violence.  Our tactics work but we don’t always have the officer numbers to implement them. We will set out the scale of the investment required to the Home Secretary by the end of the week.

“We are clear that this isn’t just an issue for policing. It’s also for other departments like health and education to play their part and it needs a united effort across government.”