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Sajid Javid to outline plans to help prevent bloodshed on Britain’s streets

UK News | Published:

The Home Secretary will outline his intention to ‘design policy’ in a bid to reduce youth violence, in his first major speech on crime.

Sajid Javid

Serious violence should be treated like the outbreak of a “virulent disease”, Sajid Javid will say as he outlines his blueprint for stopping the bloodshed on Britain’s streets.

The Home Secretary will on Monday declare that the “mindset of Government needs to shift” to combat the scourge.

Re-emphasising his support for a “public health” approach, the cabinet minister will say violent offending should be treated like the “outbreak of some virulent disease”.

Mr Javid will demand that all parts of Government work together to tackle crime “in all its guises”.

And he will highlight the importance of data to improve the understanding of the pathways into illegal activity.

In his first major speech on crime, the Home Secretary will say: “Just as we can design products to prevent crime, we can also design policy to shape the lives of young people to prevent criminality.

“Changing the lives of young people will not be an easy task. Crime has a way of drawing in those who feel worthless.

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“But when you belong to something greater than yourself, when you have something to lose, it’s not as easy to throw your life away.

“No future should be pre-determined by where you’re born, or how you’re brought up. We cannot afford to leave anyone behind.”

The Government and police have come under intense pressure over violent crime.

Earlier this year, a spate of fatal stabbings prompted warnings of a “national emergency”.

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There were 285 homicides where the method of killing was by a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales in 2017/18- the highest number since records started in 1946.

In the year to September, police recorded around 1.5 million “violence against the person” offences – a jump of nearly a fifth on the previous 12 months.

Crime stock
Knife crime was described as a ‘national emergency’ following a spate of assaults (Katie Collins/PA)

Polling data released last week suggested that public concern about crime is at its highest since the riots of 2011.

Ministers have announced a £100 million cash injection for police to tackle knife crime and relaxed rules on the use of enhanced stop and search powers in badly-hit areas.

Mr Javid and Prime Minister Theresa May have also unveiled a new “public health” approach to violent crime.

Under the plans, state bodies could be made subject to a legal duty requiring them to have “due regard” to the prevention and tackling of serious violence.

The proposals drew criticism from leaders in a number of the professions that would be affected.

Mr Javid will use his speech on Monday to reassure health workers and teachers, saying the approach is about giving them the confidence to report their concerns, “safe in the knowledge that everyone will close ranks to protect that child”.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “Serious youth violence has now become a crisis – there’s no other way of talking about it.

“To tackle this growing scourge, we must address the ‘poverty of hope’ felt by too many children and young people across the country, who see little or no chance of a positive future.

“Caught in a vicious cycle, they carry knives because they don’t feel safe.”

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