£1.1m funding boost for specialist violent crime unit

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced a �1.1m funding boost for a violent crime unit in Essex Pi

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced a �1.1m funding boost for a violent crime unit in Essex Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A specialist unit launched to tackle violent crime in Essex is to receive an extra £1.1million to continue its work in the county, the Government has announced.

Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst Picture ARCHANT

Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst Picture ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

The Essex Violent Reduction Unit brings together different organisations including police, local government, health, community leaders and other key partners to try to prevent serious violence by understanding its root causes.

The unit has been tasked with delivering both short and long-term strategies to tackle violent crime at a local level through its multi-agency working.

Priti Patel, Home Secretary and MP for Witham, said: "I will not tolerate the criminals who seek to draw our young people into a life of violence.

"We are delivering on the people's priorities by recruiting 20,000 new police officers and introducing tougher sentences to keep offenders behind bars for longer, but agencies must also work together to tackle this issue head on.


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"These units are playing a vital role in diverting young people away from crime - and the funding we are announcing today will allow them to continue this important work."

Since it was set up earlier this year, the specialist unit has funded several early intervention projects which aim to divert young people away from committing violent crime in the first place, according to the Government.

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These include projects like electronic tagging of those arrested for violent offences, as well as placing youth workers in hospitals to help those caught up in knife crime and steer them away from a life of violence.

Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst said: "Over the last year we have invested in a range of activities to support young people at risk of being exploited while strengthening our enforcement activities against those who aim to exploit them.

"Working in hospitals, schools, social clubs and on our streets we are effectively reaching out and tackling the root causes of gang activity that draw young people into a life of crime.

"The extra funding announced by the government today means we will be able to do even more to tackle violence by investing in programmes that are delivering real results and making a difference for people in our communities."

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