19:56 GMT05 April 2020
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    The British government’s cuts to the budgets of police forces across the UK have placed them under intense scrutiny in recent months, with many blaming these austerity measures for the increase in violent crime.

    Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe warned on Tuesday that Brits “are dying on the streets” and police forces need additional funding to tackle violent crime in major cities across the UK, according to the Independent newspaper.

    “Yes, we need to lobby for more resources, but while we lobby for those resources people are still dying on the streets. Young people are crying out for services that have eroded after a number of years, so to expect something to be put in place and have an effect overnight – it’s not going to happen,” the senior Met police official told the Home Affairs Committee on May 2.

    “We need to be investing in this in the longer term to ensure we look at not just the current generation but the next ones coming along because they will just follow the same path.”

    READ MORE: UK Labour Party Blames Conservatives for Surge in Violent Crime

    The chief superintendent stated that most of the attacks are being carried out by youths and stressed the need for families, schools and wider communities to address the “root causes” of violent crime.  

    “There are different ways of tackling this problem,” the Met police chief insisted, calling on local authorities and the police to work with businesses to employ and mentor youngsters who are deemed likely to join gangs and pursue a life of crime.

    Other police officers and officials who were questioned by the committee also underscored the importance of “neighborhood policing.”

    The Home Office unveiled its Serious Violence Strategy last month to counter violent crime, but many have accused the government of adopting short-sighted policies.

    The department was also criticized for failing to identify budget cuts as a driving factor of the increase in crime, which has made headlines in recent weeks, with much of the focus on London.

    Data published last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that knife crime rose by over 20 percent in 2017 in England and Wales, while gun crime increased by 11 percent.

    In addition to the growing issue of violent crime, a police official said law enforcement agencies are facing other challenges, including terrorism and cybercrime.

    READ MORE: UN Expresses Concern Over Number of Black Deaths in UK Police Custody — Reports

    Related:

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    Shocking Statistic: Crime Involving a Machete Occurs Every 90 Minutes in the UK
    Violent Crime Almost Tripled in Manchester, UK Since 2010 Due to Budget Cuts
    'Lack of Police Numbers' Has Significantly Affected Crime Rate in UK - Analyst
    Tags:
    crime, police, London Crime Surge, UK Government, Metropolitan Police, Home Office, Jeff Boothe, Amber Rudd, United Kingdom, London
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