Cleveland’s violent crime problem is being ignored by the Government, says Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham, as he calls on the Home Secretary to urgently rethink her decision not to fund a Violence Reduction Unit in the Cleveland area.
The Cleveland Police Force area is third highest in the country for incidents of violent crime, with a rate of 41.1 per 1000. The national average is 29.1 per 1000. Despite this, Cleveland Police missed out on funding earlier in the year – with areas with much lower violent crime rates benefiting from the £35.5 million released by the Government in March 2021.
Alex has raised this issue in Parliament, questioning the Minister for Crime and Policing about the decision in March. After a meeting with the new Police and Crime Commissioner, Alex has written to the Home Secretary requesting her to look at the decision again and provide Cleveland Police with the funding it needs to tackle this issue.
“With the third highest rate of violent crime in the country the Cleveland Police Force Area should have been a dead cert to be awarded part of the £35.5 million Violence Reduction Unit funding from the Government. That is was completely ignored in unfathomable.
“Our force has lost 500 police officers since 2010, with only 150 off these being replaced after a decade. To be ignored for this funding too is a serious error of judgement from the Home Secretary.
“I called on the Government to rectify their mistake in March and now I’m repeating that call – give Cleveland Police the resources it needs to tackle the problem of violent crime and keep our communities safe.”