Amber Rudd denies seeing analysis claiming police cuts contributed to violent crime rise

Amber Rudd denies seeing analysis claiming police cuts contributed to violent crime rise

Amber Rudd said 'violent crime is a priority'

Monday, April 9, 2018

Amber Rudd says she has not seen analysis prepared by her own department which states cuts to police numbers have "likely contributed" to a rise in serious violent crime.

The Home Secretary has insisted she will do "whatever it takes" to make Britain's streets safe as she launches a blitz on violent crime, which has risen sharply recently.

She denied seeing Home Office research that suggested offenders may have been "encouraged" by the lack of police resources and a fall in charge rates.

The Cabinet minister is facing a new row over police staffing levels as she unveils the government's blueprint for making Britain's streets safe.

A document obtained by The Guardian said resources dedicated to serious violence "have come under pressure and charge rates have dropped", adding "this may have encouraged offenders".

It was "unlikely to be the factor that triggered the shift in serious violence, but may be an underlying driver that has allowed the rise to continue".

A highlighted box summarises the point: "Not the main driver but has likely contributed."

Rudd told the BBC: "I haven't seen this document.

"There are a lot of documents that go around the Home Office. We do a lot of work in this area.

"Of course violent crime is a priority. I think that you do a disservice to the communities and the families by making this a political tit-for-tat about police numbers."

Work on the wide-ranging package of measures against violence started last year but it has been finalised against a backdrop of mounting calls for action following a wave of deadly violence in London.

The strategy, underpinned by £40 million of Home Office funding and a new Offensive Weapons Bill, will involve asking social media companies to remove violent gang content and ensure tough restrictions are in place for online knife sales.

It will make some weapons illegal to possess in private and make it a criminal offence to have corrosive substances in a public place. The strategy also involves a consultation on extending stop and search.