Anger over violent crime funding snub as Cleveland Police misses out on cash boost

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has hit out at the Government after Cleveland missed out on a share of £35 million to tackle violent crime.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 4:45 pm

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the extra cash to continue funding specialist teams to tackle violent crime in 18 of the worst affected areas.

The largest share (£7 million) will go to the Metropolitan Police and Merseyside, Greater Manchester, West Midlands and West Yorkshire will get more £3.3 million each.

A number of others will receive between £1.1 million and £880,000 to fund multi-agency Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) which aim to prevent serious violence by understanding its root causes.

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An extra £35 million has been announced by the Government to tackle violent crime.

But Cleveland Police was not included and does not fall within the Government scheme.

Mr Hill said: “I fully understand that the Government needs to tackle crimes of violence, especially knife crime, but this phenomenon is not exclusive to London and the big city regions.

“Violent crime is becoming endemic in areas like Teesside and Hartlepool also, especially around drugs.

“As the local MP I’ve heard some horrific stories about assaults against family members of drug users, including the elderly, and only recently we’ve seen the violent attack on a family in their own home where a couple were confronted by a gang of masked and armed men during a break in, and it makes my blood boil that given all the commitments given by the Prime Minister to tackle crime and increase police numbers that yet again towns like Hartlepool are losing out on critical funding.”

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill. Picture by FRANK REID

He added that violent crime is as much an important issue here as it is in big towns and cities.

He added: “The Home Secretary is boasting that the Government intends to recruit 20,000 new police officers and deliver on the people’s priorities in order to address public safety concerns, but it’s long forgotten places like Hartlepool that are increasingly getting left behind when it comes to adequately funding for local policing initiatives.”

Ms Patel said: “These units are already playing a vital role in diverting young people away from crime – and the funding I have announced today will allow them to continue this important work.”