West Yorkshire's PCC statement on knife crime (5 Mar 2019)

Speaking on knife crime, Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and lead PCC on Serious Violence, said:

"We have seen significant rises in knife and violent crime across the country, particularly involving children and young people, but not exclusively, resulting on too many occasions in the tragic loss of life. The exploitation of young people, in many cases by organised criminal groups running 'County Lines' drug related crime is starting to have a hugely detrimental impact on many communities which now urgently needs to be addressed.

"Our police do an extremely important job in protecting our communities and carrying out robust enforcement against offenders, but it is ultimately through early intervention and prevention work that we can most effectively tackle knife crime and serious violence.

"Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are undertaking a number of initiatives locally and have called for further action, including on future sustained national police funding, the need for a whole-system cross-government approach and by reinvigorating work across local partnerships through bodies such as Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs).

"There is also an urgent need to address the dramatic reductions in youth services and the significant rise in school exclusions, which many believe are linked to the rise in violent crime. PCCs have coordinated successful bids to the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund (EIYF) alongside other local initiatives that are being driven and funded by PCCs. However, more needs to be done to ensure sustained support and funding for our policing, youth services and wider prevention services.

"We have been highlighting these issues for some time to Government and there is an urgent need to come together to deliver focused and properly resourced action through a whole-system approach in order to deal with this scourge of knife and violent crime in our communities."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019