Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, the Home Secretary, visited Kent twice last week (24 and 26 January) to see the success that has been delivered by Kent PCC Matthew Scott and Kent Police.
On Wednesday 24 January, he visited North Kent Police Station to meet with the Violence Reduction Unit to learn more about the reduction in knife crime in the county. In the twelve months to December 2023, Kent saw a reduction in the number of knife enabled violence with injury offences from 1746 to 1398, a reduction of 19%.
Since its establishment, the Violence Reduction Unit has now engaged with over 8600 young people through a variety of schools inputs, diversionary activities and sports.
And on Friday 26 January, he was invited to Rochester by local MP Kelly Tolhurst for a walk along the High Street with Kent Police to see how crime had fallen since the implementation of the Safer Streets programme. Crime in the then Rochester West ward had fallen by 8% year on year.
The Home Secretary said “I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the hard work and commitment of Kent PCC Matthew Scott to keep people in his community safe. I am committed to tackling knife crime and giving the police the powers they need to get weapons off the streets. The work that is going on in Kent to reduce violence and support young people is making a real difference. I welcome the action being taken by Matthew and Kent Police alongside excellent local MP, Kelly Tolhurst. The plan that the local Conservative team are delivering is clearly working.”
Kelly said “I am pleased to see the great work that our police have been doing to make our streets safer, with record numbers of police officers in Kent, this can only improve. I am confident that with the aid of the Safer Street Fund, our police officers will continue to tackle crime here in Medway, and work towards a future where everyone can feel safe in our community.”
Matthew said “I am grateful for the support of the Government in delivering these initiatives to cut crime and antisocial behaviour. This funding isn’t just reducing crime but it is giving opportunities to young people to engage, learn and change. With record numbers of police in Kent and the support of the Home Office, we are sending a strong message that knife crime will not be tolerated in Kent.”