Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, today announced a coalition of government ministers, cross-party MPs, police leaders, local government and the voluntary sector will make up the Serious Violence Taskforce – which will ensure sustained, swift and decisive action against violent crime.
Together with the government, the taskforce will help design and deliver the key commitments of the Serious Violence Strategy, working with affected communities to ensure immediate and real action is taken.
The taskforce’s aim is to stop the recent increases in serious violence and see levels of violent crime reduce. It will hold the government and others to account, evaluate the strategy’s impact and commission further work as commitments are delivered.
Chaired by the Home Secretary, the taskforce – which will meet for the first time on 26 April, when the frequency of future meetings will also be decided – will have the vital job of ensuring the strategy is effectively delivered.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
I am determined that the Serious Violence Strategy will have an immediate impact on tackling the scourge of serious violence.
I am absolutely clear that the taskforce must work with the government to deliver the strategy’s commitments. Together, we will seek to prevent serious violence from happening in the first place and ensure the measures that I set out when I launched the strategy are delivered.
Everyone joining the taskforce is committed to ending the serious violence blighting our communities and I look forward to working together in the weeks and months ahead.
The taskforce’s members include Home Office ministers Nick Hurd and Victoria Atkins; London MPs Chuka Umunna and David Lammy; Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; Met Commissioner Cressida Dick; National Crime Agency Director-General Lynne Owens; and Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith, who founded the Centre for Social Justice and has a long-standing interest in issues around serious violence.
Its membership reflects the Home Secretary’s words when launching the strategy last week when she spoke of the importance of the taskforce’s cross-party dimension.
Establishing the taskforce was one of 60 measures announced in the Serious Violence Strategy. Commissioned by the Home Secretary and backed with £40 million of Home Office funding, the strategy marks a major shift in the government’s response to serious violence.
It strikes a balance between prevention and robust law enforcement with a new £11 million Early Intervention Youth Fund for community projects to help young people live lives free from violence.
The strategy identifies the changing drugs market – in particular the devastating impact of crack cocaine – as a key driver of the violence harming our communities, and announces a range of powerful actions to tackle the issue of ‘county lines’ and its implications for drugs, violence and exploitation of vulnerable people. That includes £3.6 million to establish a new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre.
The membership of the taskforce will be:
- Home Secretary, Amber Rudd
- Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins
- Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd
- Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi
- Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Margot James
- Member of Parliament for Tottenham, Rt Hon David Lammy MP
- Member of Parliament for Streatham, Chuka Umunna MP
- Member of Parliament for Chingford and Woodford Green, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP
- Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick
- National Police Chiefs Council Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Duncan Ball
- Director-General of the National Crime Agency, Lynne Owens
- Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan
- Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, David Lloyd
- Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, Dawn Austwick
- Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield
- Chief Executive of Public Health Wales, Dr Tracey Cooper
- Chief Executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie
- Local Government Association, Councillor, Simon Blackburn
- CEO of the Ben Kinsella Trust, Patrick Green
- CEO of Redthread, John Poyton
- Head of Gangs SOS project for St Giles Trust, Junior Smart
- CEO of Onside Youth Zones, Kathryn Morley
- Chief Operating Officer of Catch 22, Naomi Hulston
- Knife crime campaigner and Member of Parliament for Enfield North (2010-2015), Nick de Bois