On Thursday 10 June, Sir David Amess called for more support in making the streets of Southend safer following the unfortunate recent violence and anti-social behaviour.
Sir David said
Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on violent crime, including stabbings and disorderly behaviour? Embarrassingly, as we move towards city status in Southend, the formerly quiet areas of Chalkwell and Leigh-on-Sea have seen crimes involving knives and disorderly behaviour. That has been a result of gangs moving into the areas and drug dealing. Present measures are simply not working.
Jacob Rees-Mogg replied
I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this important and troubling issue. As constituency MPs, we all see the terrible effects of violent crime and we should never be complacent in tackling it. So far, between 2019 and 2022, the Government will have spent more than £105.5 million of taxpayers’ money to develop 18 violence reduction units and over £136.5 million to support an enhanced police response. We have also spent £200 million on early intervention and prevention support initiatives through the youth endowment fund to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, and the Government are taking urgent action to tackle knife crime and keep people safe. We have, according to the latest figures, recruited 8,771 additional police officers as part of our commitment to hiring an extra 20,000 police officers. I understand that, when crime hits, such bald statistics do not necessarily provide immediate comfort, but I hope they give reassurance that this matter is being taken very seriously and is being tackled.