The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has called on the government to match his £2 million funding for projects to tackle gangs and violence.
David Jamieson is today meeting Home Secretary Amber Rudd in Westminster.
He has committed £2 million for projects to reduce violence and give young people more opportunities.
Now, Mr Jamieson is asking the Home Secretary to do the same to provide another £2 million to help expand and speed up the delivery of projects to reduce violence in the West Midlands.
The government has previously announced £500,000 to tackle knife crime across the whole country, but Mr Jamieson says this is not enough.
Speaking ahead of the meeting with the Home Secretary, he said: “I will be highlighting the work of the Commission on Gangs and Violence to the Home Secretary and asking the government to invest in the safety of the West Midlands by matching my £2 million investment.
“That match funding will help to expand the planned projects to tackle violent crime, make our communities safer and give young people the opportunities they deserve.
“When violence strikes it plagues our communities indiscriminately, leaving victims in its wake.
“In order to help reverse the current rise in violent crime I am investing an extra £2 million from my budget to tackle the causes of violent crime. I want the government to match my commitment and invest in keeping the communities of the West Midlands safe.
“I hope the government listens to the excellent work of the Commission on Gangs and Violence and supports my call for match funding.”
The Home Office has provided around £2.5 million of funding for 13 “Young People’s Advocates”, who work with young people to reduce gang culture, over 6 years.
The money went on schemes in London, Manchester and Birmingham.
And earlier in March the Government provided an extra £1 million for a Community Fund, which supports community projects to work with young people about the dangers of carrying knives.
Over 40 charities, including the Ben Kinsella Trust, have already benefited by receiving grants of up to £20,000 through the first round of the Community Fund which was launched in October 2017.
In addition, further funding has been secured for Young People’s Advocates until at least the end of March 2019, to provide support for vulnerable women and girls at risk of exploitation by gangs.
Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said: “Knife crime has devastating consequences for families and local communities and I am determined to provide necessary support for those most at risk.
“Tackling this crime needs a change in young people’s attitudes so they are not tempted to carry a knife and understand that they risk inflicting serious injury or even a tragic loss of life if they do.
“This new funding will allow communities to work with young people so they do not want to carry knives.
“This will be a commitment in the forthcoming Serious Violence Strategy which will be published later this spring, in which there will be a strong emphasis on early intervention.”