Police officers granted funds to reduce knife crime in Milton Keynes
Thames Valley Police force has been awarded £735,000 government funding to combat serious violent crime in the area..
The money will allow police to expand investigations into gang-related material on social media platforms, gather evidence for prosecutions, and make referrals to social media companies so illegal and harmful content can be taken down.
Last November, drill rap music videos posted on YouTube were used as evidence in a trial for the murders of MK teenagers Dom Ansah and Ben Gillham-Rice. The videos proved a young defendant’s affiliation with the B3 gang, which was taken from the Bletchley postcode of MK3.
Today's police funding is part of a nationwide £130 million package, which will also go towards tackling domestic abuse and providing job opportunities for young people at serious risk of violent crime in then nation's hotspots.
The money was announced today by Home Secretary Priti Patel and it comes ahead of the introduction of a major criminal justice Bill, which will give police new stop and search powers to tackle known knife and weapons carriers.
Under these powers, police will be able to stop and search people previously convicted of knife-crime offences without a reason. And courts will be expected to impose Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) on anyone over 18 with a knife or weapon related conviction unless there is a ‘compelling’ reason not to do so.
Police will have the power to stop and search anyone subjected to an SVRO, regardless of whether or not they believe them to be carrying a knife.
.More than £105 million has already been invested in Violence Reduction Units by the government, including an extra £1.16 million announced for Thames Valley Police last month.
Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, said: “This is fantastic news that the Government is investing in violent crime.
He added: “We’ve seen far too many lives lost to knife crime in Milton Keynes and I hope this funding can be used to give the police the resources they need to keep our streets and communities safe.”
Iain Stewart, the MP for Milton Keynes South, commented: “I am delighted that Thames Valley Police will receive an extra £735k to tackle the violent crime that has been robbing too many young people of their futures in Milton Keynes.
“This funding will ensure our police have the tools and resources needed to tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes in our community."