Polic­ing boss’s £100k fund in bid to tackle knife crime

Cash made avail­able by the Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner

Hinckley Times - - FAMILY HEALTH - DAN MARTIN hinck­ley­[email protected]­plc.com

PO­LICE and crime com­mis­sioner Lord (Willy) Bach is mak­ing £100,000 avail­able to groups that could help com­bat knife crime in Le­ices­ter­shire.

The Labour peer, pic­tured, an­nounced the mea­sure at a con­fer­ence he, his staff and Crimestop­pers hosted this week to dis­cuss the is­sues sur­round­ing car­ry­ing knives.

A num­ber of po­lice and jus­tice ex­perts at­tended the event at Grace Road’s cricket ground on Tues­day where Lord Bach said he would take £100,000 from his of­fice’s bud­get re­serves to stem the knife crime epi­demic

Non-po­lice or­gan­i­sa­tions – char­i­ties, busi­nesses and vol­un­teer groups – will be able to bid for a share of the cash over the next two years and will re­ceive cash if they can per­suade the com­mis­sioner they have worth­while ideas.

Lord Bach said he was still an­gry Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice was de­nied any of the £17.7 mil­lion com­mit­ted by the Gov­ern­ment to other forces to di­vert chil­dren and young peo­ple away from vi­o­lent crime.

He said: “Across the coun­try, knife crime has reached epi­demic lev­els. It poses one of the most se­ri­ous risks to young peo­ple’s safety to­day.

“It cuts short the op­por­tu­ni­ties and prospects of young peo­ple, pre­vent­ing them from reach­ing their full po­ten­tial.

“I do not be­lieve that we can ar­rest our way out of this prob­lem. Tougher sen­tences and ro­bust polic­ing will cer­tainly help, but it has to start at home. “And it has to start early. “We have to give young peo­ple healthy foun­da­tions on which they can build their lives and that means work­ing with par­ents, schools and youth work­ers to man­age ag­gres­sion ef­fec­tively when it presents it­self and give young peo­ple pos­i­tive be­hav­iour strate­gies to cope with life.

“I was as­ton­ished our re­cent bid for fund­ing from the Home Of­fice Early In­ter­ven­tion Youth Fund was turned down, along­side all but one of the other East Mid­lands forces, but while I will con­tinue to fight our cor­ner for more fund­ing I sim­ply can­not sit back and al­low more lives to be maimed.

“Knife crime will never be solved in a day but we must start some­where.

“That is why I’m launch­ing this new fund.”

Deputy Chief Con­sta­ble Rob Nixon said: “Along with our op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties, ed­u­cat­ing young peo­ple about the dan­gers of knife crime is among the many im­por­tant el­e­ments of the work we do at Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice.

“We know it can dev­as­tate com­mu­ni­ties and that’s why, through our #LivesNotKnives cam­paign, we have taken our mes­sages di­rectly into schools and other set­tings aimed at young peo­ple.

“This in­cludes the mes­sage that car­ry­ing a knife is not a sta­tus sym­bol and can come with se­vere penal­ties.

“Not only that but sta­tis­ti­cally, car­ry­ing a knife puts them more at risk of be­com­ing a vic­tim of knife crime them­selves.

“Our re­cent col­lab­o­ra­tion with Le­ices­ter City Foot­ball Club saw us cre­ate a film with a se­lec­tion of foot­ballers ap­peal­ing to young peo­ple to “make the right choice” and work to­gether as part of team to keep them­selves safe as well as their com­mu­ni­ties.”

On top of the new £100,000 fund, Lord Bach is pay­ing for 120 po­lice ve­hi­cles to be fit­ted with trauma packs to bet­ter equip of­fi­cers who need to help peo­ple with se­ri­ous in­juries.

They con­tain equip­ment that will im­proves of­fi­cers ca­pac­ity to of­fer im­me­di­ate treat­ment to ca­su­al­ties.

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