The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has secretly reduced funding for a scheme to help children escape knife crime, despite a sharp rise in the number of murders and stabbings.
In July, Javid had said that he was doubling the £11m that was allocated to the early intervention youth fund to £22m. This was part of a “public health” approach to combating knife crime and other offences.
While on a recent visit to the West Midlands, however, the policing minister Nick Hurd quietly announced that the funding had been reduced to £17m. Louise Haigh, Labour’s shadow policing minister, described the move as “shameful”.
But The Sunday Times are reporting that policing minister Nick Hurd let slip that funding for such crucial schemes has been cut to £17 million on a recent visit to the West Midlands – another area blighted by soaring violent crime.
On the BBC’s Marr show, the Home Secretary was forced to admit that the Conservatives had cut police officers by 21,000 across England and Wales.
“I recognise that and I also recognise that we need to put more resources into policing,” said the Home Secretary in a car crash interview. He insisted that he had “announced a few weeks ago the biggest cash increase in police funding in English and Wales – almost a billion pounds – since 2010.”
But the BBC’s Andrew Marr reminded him that even that wouldn’t make up for the scale of police cuts since the Tories came to power in 2010.
“You cut policing by 19% since 2010 and even a billion pounds you have announced is relative small scale – with an extra 400 police officers last year – it is very small scale compared to the big picture,” explained Marr.
Responding to Sajid Javid finally recognising that the Tories have cut Police officer numbers since 2010, Labour’s shadow policing minister Louise Haigh said:
“At long last the Tories have finally admitted to the damaging impact of their cuts to Police officer numbers.
“You can’t keep people safe on the cheap. With violent crime on the rise, it’s time for the Tories to do what everyone is calling for and hire more police officers.”
Louise Haigh also hit out at Javid’s decision to secretly cutfunds to protect youth from knife crime in The Sunday Times, calling it “shameful.”
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