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New funding to tackle violent crime

The West Midlands is getting its first ever Violence Reduction Unit - to help police tackle knife and gun crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson says it'll help his force give young people alternatives to gang life and an escape from the cycle of violence.

The unit's being funded by more than 3 million pounds from the government.

The Home Office funding has been awarded to the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to combat a rise in violent crime in the region. Knife crime is up by 85% since 2012 and gun crime up by a third.

One condition the government has set is that the money must all be spent by April 2020.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “For some years now we have been warning that more funding is needed to tackle rising levels of violent crime in our area.

“I have been calling for funding for a Violence Reduction Unit for some time. I am pleased that my campaign has now been successful.

“I will be using this money to ensure our young people aren’t caught up in a cycle of violence and have real alternative options and better life chances.

“I have worked closely with Public Health England, local authorities and communities on this bid and would like to place on record my thanks to them all. I look forward to continuing to work closely with health professionals and would also like to thank the region’s MPs and Councillors who have supported my bid.

“Whilst this funding is welcomed by all in the West Midlands the government needs to know that a real long term funding solution is still very much needed.”

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