Tack­ling the causes of vi­o­lent crime

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The Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner has set aside £1m to in­vest in projects which aim to cut vi­o­lent crime in Kent and Med­way. Matthew Scott’s new

Vi­o­lence Re­duc­tion Fund is just one of the rec­om­men­da­tions to come out of his lengthy study into the na­ture, scale and causes of vi­o­lence in the county.

Lo­cal char­i­ties and other or­gan­i­sa­tions will soon be able to bid for around £100,000 each, with the money to be spent over three years. The Com­mis­sioner said: “When I launched my Vi­o­lence Re­duc­tion Chal­lenge last sum­mer I wanted to draw to­gether the col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise which ex­ists across Kent to see what more could be done to pro­tect peo­ple and re­duce the preva­lence of vi­o­lent crime.

“I’m look­ing to in­vest this money in things like en­gage­ment with schools, aware­ness cam­paigns, pre­ven­tion ini­tia­tives, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion projects and di­ver­sion­ary ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Ul­ti­mately, I want to play my part in help­ing pro­tect some of our most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple from the most vi­o­lent.”

The Vi­o­lence Re­duc­tion Chal­lenge (VRC) has also rec­om­mended the com­mis­sion­ing of a new ser­vice to help vic­tims of stalk­ing, and the cre­ation of a multi-agency task force in Med­way to en­able part­ners to work closer to­gether to deal with some of the un­der­ly­ing causes of crime. A co­or­di­na­tor role within Kent Po­lice will be cre­ated to bring all of the part­ners to­gether.

Chief Con­sta­ble Alan Pugh­s­ley added: “The Task Force will play an im­por­tant role in tack­ling vi­o­lence in the Med­way towns. The of­fi­cers will work closely with their part­ner­ship col­leagues to sup­port our on­go­ing ef­forts in con­fronting those who are pre­pared to use vi­o­lence, while also act­ing as a de­ter­rent to those con­sid­er­ing it. This will help us pro­tect some of the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties.”

The VRC has also shaped the PCC’s de­ci­sion to in­vest coun­cil tax re­ceipts in 180 additional po­lice of­fi­cers this year, and to con­tinue to sup­port the work of the St Giles Trust, set up in 2017 to help young peo­ple at risk of be­ing ex­ploited by county lines gangs to turn their lives around.

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