Government earmarks further £1.61million for Kent unit tackling violent crime

PCC Matthew Scott

Government funding of £1.61 million for 2020-21 is likely to be agreed for Kent to continue the work of a unit dedicated to tackling knife offences, county lines drug networks and lifting young people out of crime.

The Violence Reduction Unit for Kent and Medway first received £1.61 of government funding last year.

The VRU is a partnership between Kent Police, local councils, health service providers and other key agencies aimed at reducing violent crime.

Fourteen Kent and Medway organisations received funding from the grant, including The Forward Trust addiction service for work with female offenders.

The St Giles Trust has also received Kent police and crime commissioner funding for its County Lines project in Thanet, Dover and, more recently, Canterbury.

A new helpline and outreach service is also being created to support young people affected by knife crime in Kent.

PCC Matthew Scott said:‘While Kent has not experienced the same levels of serious violence as some other areas in recent times, we have our own unique challenges.

“Some of those challenges are linked to county lines activity operating out of London and other areas, where young people are being exploited to act as drugs mules.

‘This is not a trend unique to Kent, and it is not one that the police can simply arrest its way out of. The police and partner agencies need to work together to help lift these vulnerable young people out of a life of crime.”

On December 29 the government announced Kent was again in line for £1.61 funding for 2020-21 as part of a $35million pot being split between 18 PCCs.

Funding is subject to receiving proposals from Violence Reduction Units on spending allocations and being agreed by the Home Office.

Each unit is tasked with delivering strategies that involve police, healthcare workers, community leaders and others, and aim to reduce and prevent violence in both the short and long term.

Work already under way from the VRUs includes new virtual reality technology to teach young people about the dangers of getting involved in serious violence and putting community leaders in hospital A&E departments to provide support to those involved in violence when they are most vulnerable.

1 Comment

  1. More money should be given to local charities who deal with knife crime issues like thanet breaking cycle charity, not London based organisations.

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