Hammond’s £100m Knife Crime Fund Branded ‘Shockingly Inadequate’

“This won’t even begin to paper over the deep cracks in the system.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s £100m bid to tackle Britain’s knife crime crisis has been derided as “an insult” and little more than “a drop in the ocean” in the wake of sweeping austerity measures.

Responding to a tidal wave of calls for action, Hammond announced in his spring statement on Wednesday a ringfenced £100m would be shared out to forces immediately to tackle the problem.

But the move was branded “shockingly inadequate” when it later emerged that just £80m was ‘new money’ and £20m would come from the already-stretched Home Office budget.

Opponents also pointed out that since 2010, £2.7bn has been slashed from police budgets and officer numbers have dropped by around 22,000 – though ministers insist cutbacks are not to blame.

Since the start of the year alone, nine teenagers have been stabbed to death in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Across England and Wales, there has also been an average 45.7% increase in knife related crime since 2010.

Calling knife crime a “personal tragedy for the scores of families of victims”, Hammond said home secretary Sajid Javid would now explored a way to “fund a lasting solution” ahead of autumn’s budget.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whose city has been at the centre of the crisis, welcomed the “limited action” but said the cash was “a drop in the ocean” and Hammond must loosen the purse strings further at the autumn statement.

“This won’t allow the Met to recruit the new police officers they need – and we must see these cuts reversed at the spending review later this year,” he said.

The £100m was also criticised as “too late” to help young victims and “an insult” to officers

Labour has previously warned Hammond that constabularies are at breaking point, with resignations and long-term sick leave at record highs, according to official statistics.

A survey carried out by the Police Federation also underlined that 61% of officers feel their heavy workload is hitting morale.

Shadow policing and crime minister Louise Haigh said: “This represents just 3.7p for every £1 cut from policing since 2010.

“The Tories have created this crisis in policing by axing 21,000 officers & our overstretched officers are already at breaking point, owed thousands of rest days & with morale at rock-bottom.”

“This won’t even begin to paper over the deep cracks in the system.”

The Lib Dems’ home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey called the £100m “shockingly inadequate”.

Home affairs spokesman Ed Davey said: “This is an insult to our hard-working police and an insult to the victims of knife crime and their families.”


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