Home Office unveils new Task Force set on taking action against violent criminals

Home Secretary Amber Rudd

Home Secretary Amber Rudd

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that a coalition of Government ministers, cross-party MPs, police leaders, local Government officials and members of the voluntary sector will make up a Serious Violence Task Force specifically designed to ensure sustained, swift and decisive action against violent crime.

Together with the Government, the Task Force will help design and deliver the key commitments of the Serious Violence Strategy, working with affected communities to ensure that immediate and real action is taken.

The Task Force’s aim is to stop the recent increases in serious violence and preside over a reduction in the levels of violent crime. It will hold the Government and others to account, evaluate the Serious Violence Strategy’s impact and commission further work as commitments are delivered.

Chaired by the Home Secretary, the Task Force – which met for the first time today, when the frequency of future meetings was due to be decided – will have the vital job of ensuring that the Serious Violence Strategy is effectively delivered.

“I’m determined that the Serious Violence Strategy will have an immediate impact on tackling the scourge of serious violence,” said Amber Rudd. “The Task Force must work with the Government to deliver the Serious Violence 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 our plan are delivered. Everyone joining the Task Force is wholly committed to ending the serious violence that blights our communities.”

Membership of the Task Force

The Task Force’s members include Home Office ministers Nick Hurd and Victoria Atkins, London MPs Chuka Umunna and David Lammy, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Cressida Dick, the National Crime Agency’s director general Lynne Owens and Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith, who founded the Centre for Social Justice and also has a long-standing interest in issues around serious violence.

The Task Force’s membership reflects the Home Secretary’s words when launching the Serious Violence Strategy. At the time, Rudd spoke of the importance of the Task Force’s cross-party dimension.

Establishing the Task Force was one of 60 measures announced in the Serious Violence Strategy. Commissioned by the Home Secretary and backed by £40 million of Home Office funding, it 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 designed to help young people live their lives free from violence.

The Serious Violence 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 of funding to establish a new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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