An extra £100m is to be made available to police forces over the course of the next year “to pay for additional overtime targeted specifically on knife crime”, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, has said.
The announcement comes after increased pressure from police chiefs as a spate of fatal stabbings led to renewed focus on the response to knife crime in the UK.
Following the announcement, the home secretary, Sajid Javid, said the funds would be channelled to the hardest hit areas.
Javid tweeted: “It’s vital police have the resources they need to crack-down on the rising levels of knife crime. I’ve listened & we will be giving £100m extra to forces, targeting the hardest hit areas. I’ll continue to give police the support they need.”
John Apter, the chair of the Police Federation, which represents tens of thousands of rank and file officers and was among the most vocal critics of the government, welcomed the announcement.
He wrote on Twitter: “This is good news and most welcome.”
But the announcement was also met with criticism.
The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson, Ed Davey, said: “Faced with the current epidemic of knife crime claiming the lives of so many young people, the government’s response today is shockingly inadequate.
“The Conservatives have cut £1bn from police budgets since 2015, and now they offer just £80m back. They have taken 5,000 police officers and 2,600 community support officers off the streets, and now they offer to fund some extra overtime. “This is an insult to our hard-working police and an insult to the victims of knife crime and their families.”