PCC Attends Serious Youth Violence Summit (1 Apr 2019)

West Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson today (01/04) attended a serious youth violence summit in Downing Street, London bringing together over 100 experts to tackle violent crime.

Speaking immediately after the opening session, he said:

"Police and Crime Commissioners have a critical role to play in tackling serious violence and I am pleased that, alongside myself, a number of my colleagues are engaged with the series of meetings taking place in Downing Street this week.

"Today's meeting was an opportunity to hear more about the proposed public health approach to tackling knife crime and seeking views on a legal duty to collaborate.

"I have long advocated a whole system approach with focused and properly resourced action across a range of areas, including youth services and public health and as local leaders we have a key role to play in co-ordinating activity and making this happen.

"The Spring Statement to help tackle serious violence was certainly welcomed and helping to coordinate sustainable prevention and early intervention programmes in the areas of most need.

"We need all the tools possible at our disposal and the Government announcement yesterday (31/03) that West Yorkshire is to be one of seven areas to pilot the enhanced use of stop and search powers is recognition of that.

"It will see changes to Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, empowering officers to stop and search anyone in a designated area without needing reasonable grounds for suspicion, if serious violence is anticipated.

"West Yorkshire Police, however, will be taking an evidence based and intelligence led approach to its application in the county, which will remain proportionate to the problems identified ensuring community impact assessments and appropriate engagement is undertaken where necessary.

"Together with my counterparts, I will continue to build a compelling case for increases in central police funding in order to increase resources and allow for further investment in policing and crime prevention in the forthcoming Government comprehensive spending review.

"This will be vital if we are to reduce crime over the longer-term and rebuild our neighbourhood police teams, who will be at the forefront of engaging with our communities across West Yorkshire."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019