Local MP, Huw Merriman, has welcomed a funding boost worth £514,500 for Sussex Police to tackle serious violet crime, including murder and knife crime, and deliver safer communities for residents of Sussex.
Sussex is one of 18 areas across England and Wales to receive a share of £30 million in Government funding for targeted police action. A total of 130 million will be allocated between England and Wales in the coming year.
This is an important allocation in light of the Office for national Statistics’ data which showed that Sussex Police recorded 1,243 offences involving a knife or a sharp weapon in 2019-20 – more than double the 486 reported in 2012-13 when comparable records were published.
The funding comes ahead of the introduction of a major criminal justice bill, which will give police new stop and search powers to tackle known knife and weapons carriers, place a duty on public sector bodies – including police, education and health agencies – to take a joined-up approach to addressing serious violence, and require local agencies to review the circumstances when a homicide takes places involving offensive weapons (such as knives).
Having spent five years as a trustee and volunteer in a youth charity in Brixton prior to becoming an MP, Mr Merriman now serves as a Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime and Violence Reduction.
Commenting, Mr Merriman said “The sharp rise in knife crime in our county is deeply concerning, so I am delighted that Sussex Police will receive an extra £514,500 to tackle the violent crime that has been robbing too many young people of their futures and creating an environment of fear in pockets of our communities.
“I have been calling for a joined-up approach to knife crime, encompassing our police, healthcare professionals and educational establishments since I became an MP and am hopeful that this funding, paired with the introduction of a major criminal justice bill will see less local families torn apart by this scourge on our society.”