Ahead of the Home Secretary’s speech in which he is set to announce a series of measures to help crack down on serious violence, APCC Chair, Mark Burns-Williamson PCC said:
“Police and Crime Commissioners are currently helping to shape future partnership working focused on tackling serious violence and we support measures to help tackle issues that our communities, and particularly our young people, are facing.
“PCCs will be keen to feed in to the proposed review of drug use; this needs to shine a light on what the evidence is telling us about the realities of drug use, including organised crime groups and the exploitation of young people by criminal networks. Expanding drug markets controlled by gangs have been a key driver of serious violent crime, and a new and effective approach is needed to really get to grips with both the supply and demand fuelling this rise.
“Equally, we must also ensure that properly funded services are in place to minimise harms and support recovery, particularly for people suffering from drug addiction that are often themselves victims of exploitation, abuse and serious violence.
“PCCs have been clear that a structured multi-agency, cross-government approach to cracking down on serious violence is required if we are going to make real progress. Present arrangements around the country are extremely variable and a statutory duty for all agencies to cooperate could have an important impact.
“The announcement of the £200m Youth Endowment Fund will hopefully help direct resources where they are most needed. There is clear evidence that models targeting early intervention are effective in tackling the root causes of serious violence, particularly those models identifying and supporting children and young persons who have been exposed to adverse childhood experiences and in many cases not in mainstream education.”