Lib Dems pledge £500m for combatting knife crime

13 November 2019, 05:36

The Lib Dem leader says if elected she will invest in youth services
The Lib Dem leader says if elected she will invest in youth services. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson is promising a £500m boos to help fight knife crime by investing in youth services.

The Lib Dems will adopt a "public health approach" to youth violence and create a £500 million ring-fenced fund for Local Authorities in England to spend on youth services.

The party have also pledged to make local youth services a statutory provision to protect them from future cuts.

The party said the next government should model its policies on tackling youth violence on the approach taken by Scotland's Violence Reduction Unit.

This would involve identifying risk factors and treating them early on, with youth workers, police, teachers, health professionals and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling into gangs and violence.

Ms Swinson said: "We are in a knife crime epidemic, but successive governments have taken the wrong approach to dealing with it.

"For 25 years, Conservative and Labour governments have been competing to seem tough on crime, without doing enough to actually prevent crime.

"Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for young people by investing £500 million a year in youth services and taking a public health approach to youth violence.

"With a Liberal Democrat government, young people will have the support and opportunities they deserve, our communities will be stronger and people will feel safer."

The £500 million funding will be for England only as education is a devolved matter, but the party said extra money would be made available to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.