Police chiefs to request emergency funding to target knife crime

Following a crisis meeting with Home Secretary Sajid Javid, police chiefs are drawing up plans to target at least £10m of additional spending at specific areas in the UK to combat rising knife crime. Approval for the extra funding is to be sought from Chancellor Philip Hammond. Mr Javid has also proposed giving police more flexibility on introducing emergency stop and search. Mr Javid said: “We have to listen to the police when they talk about resources.” He added a call for serious violence “to be treated by all parts of government, all parts of the public sector, like a disease”. Downing Street is believed to be preparing a new regime, mirroring the Prevent anti-extremism programme, to require councils, schools and agencies to report children believed to be at risk of being pulled into knife and gang crime.

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Hogan-Howe in knife-crime tsar call

Analysis by Channel 4’s Dispatches has found that the number of young people who have used knives to kill has risen by more than 75% in three years. In 2016 there were 26 under-18s who committed homicides using a knife or sharp instrument, with the total jumping to 46 in 2018. The research also shows a 93% rise in the number of children aged 16 and under being treated for stab wounds in England. Lord Hogan-Howe, the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has warned that ministers have failed to get a grip on knife crime and should appoint a tsar to help deal with the matter. “The Government needs to appoint somebody who is going to lead it day after day … somebody who is going to make sure we get knives off the street and save lives,” he said. Meanwhile, John Apter, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has warned: “Until the government can come up with an effective strategy to combat this epidemic, t he death toll will keep on rising.” Elsewhere, the Police Federation has described the Prime Minister as “delusional” for insisting that there was no direct correlation between police numbers and incidents of knife crime. Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who will this week meet police chiefs to discuss the issue, has said he would launch a consultation on making the fight against violent crime a statutory public health duty. Separately, Richard Cooke, the chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, has told the Telegraph that police must be given stop-and-search powers to tackle knife crime.

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Social care tax for over-40s unfair

Plans to tax all workers over 40 an extra 2.5% to pay for social care have been described as “unfair” by former pensions minister Baroness Altmann. The Tory peer said resistance to the idea would be strong. “Many of these people are only working because their pensions are so low they cannot make ends meet,” she said. “There is no simple solution to this, but we really need to spread the provision of care rather than compulsory taxation for one group of people.” A cross-party alliance of MPs back the plans which were supported by Matt Hancock, the health secretary over the weekend.

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