Recent reports by the UK police force reveal allocation of £7m to safeguard against knife crime in the country. The West Midlands Police declared the knife incidences as a “national emergency,” confirming that majority of the funds from the “project Guardian” would be allocated to tackling the knife crime rate.
Moreover, the budget will also direct funds towards Birmingham’s night time economy and towards mediating services for the young. However, opponents criticized that the project funds were insufficient, and the new development prodded overtime for police officers.
As part of the project, plans were underway for recruitment of 75 new police staff investigators, an investment in 15 new police cars and metal detectors. Moreover, a budget of £1.5m was dedicated to supporting and mentoring projects. Furthermore, the project would donate £100,000 to young people in need, thus advancing towards community improvement.
A statement by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) indicated that the funding was ‘short term’ and was directed to ‘break the cycle of crime,’ which was declared as a national emergency. Moreover, his statement hinted on extending policing hours to an extra 163,400 and required the existing police force to work overtime.
“We’re having to use overtime to plug the gaps when what we should have is a police force that’s fit for purpose,” said Richard Cooke, the West Midlands Police Federation Chair.
Kirk Dawes, a former police officer responsible for gang violence, however, raised concern over the paucity of allocated funds. “True investment would be a 10-year plan but that would cost more money than they’ve been given,” reported Dawes. He in return also adds that although the funds are insufficient the PCC cannot be held responsible for the situation.