Cash to combat violent crime 'a drop in the ocean', says Hove MP

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove
Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove

Cash for Sussex Police to tackle violent crime isn't enough, Labour's MP for Hove has said.

MP Peter Kyle wrote to the Home Secretary last month to urge him to set up a taskforce on violent crime for Brighton and Hove, to urgently address the rising levels of violent crime in the city. Brighton MPs Caroline Lucas and Lloyd-Russell-Moyle also supported the call for action.

Read more: MPs urge Home Secretary to act on 'violent crime' in Brighton and Hove
Violent crime on the rise in Brighton and Hove
This week, Home Secretary Sajid Javid agreed to boost funding for Sussex Police, which will receive £1.34 million from a dedicated Serious Violence Fund. The extra funding is being allocated to areas dealing with high levels of violent crime.

In Brighton and Hove, violent crime has risen by 108 per cent since 2011, and there were more than 5,739 incidents of violence recorded in the first quarter of 2019, Mr Kyle said.

The MP has welcomed the Government’s action, but raised concerns over the real-term cuts to funding which render the cash boost ‘a drop in the ocean’.

He said: “Any money provided which will help our police fight violent crime is hugely appreciated. I'm also immensely pleased that a combined effort from the city's MPs has helped to bring £1.34 in to our force by piling pressure on the government.

"However, it's disappointing to have to remind the Home Secretary that analysis of National Audit Office data shows that our Sussex Force experienced a drop in funding which totalled £57,256,043 in real-terms over the last eight years, making the £1.34 a mere drop in the ocean.

"The true, effective way to combat violent and sexual crime is to have more bobbies on the beat and more community police in our schools.”