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PCC Simon Foster alongside Birmingham Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton at the APCC Tackling Serious Violence drop-in event at Westminster Hall in London

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster visited Westminster to speak to MPs and peers about how he is preventing and tackling serious violence through a range of innovative measures.

The PCC hosted the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ parliamentary drop-in event, situated inside Westminster Hall, which saw a number of MPs including Dawn Butler, Sir Iain Duncan-Smith, Lord Wasserman, Paulette Hamilton, Jane Stevenson and former Secretary of State for Justice, Sir Robert Buckland MP, attend.

He spoke to them about how a variety of projects in the West Midlands focus on prevention, early intervention and diversion – such as CIRV (Community Initiative to Reduce Violence) – and the impact they are having on preventing and tackling knife crime in the West Midlands.

The PCC also spoke about the action that has been taken by the Violence Reduction Partnership, to implement the Serious Violence Duty, which was first introduced in January 2023 and brings partner organisations together to prevent and tackle violence.

PCC Simon Foster said he is continuing to hold West Midlands Police to account and, in the last year, records show reductions in knife crime (2.4%) and serious youth violence (7.5%) thanks to a whole range of intervention projects. There’s also been a 11.9% reduction in gun crime across the West Midlands, year on year, while arrest rates have gone up from 3,200-a-month to 4,200.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “I was delighted to attend Westminster to speak about the West Midlands Violence Reduction Strategy, explaining to MPs and peers about the action that is being taken across the West Midlands to prevent and tackle the likelihood of children and young people under the age of 25 becoming a victim or perpetrator of violence.

“The strategy continues to address the underlying causes of violence, in order to prevent it from happening in the first place, because the prevention of violence will always be better than having to deal with the consequences of violence.

“Working with police, fire, local authorities, probation, health and other partners, we support thousands of young people across the West Midlands to enable them to lead happy and fulfilled lives, free from the scourge of violence.

“Sadly, there are still far too many of our young people being impacted by violent crime as a consequence of many factors, that include inequality, poverty, abuse, neglect, lack of opportunity, low educational attainment and criminal exploitation.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to support each other and collectively contribute to safeguarding and protecting our young people.

“It remains critical that we continue to develop a sustainable, community and youth led approach to violence reduction and we do this by working alongside young people, communities and their leaders, parents and carers.

“Work across the education system also remains a key priority to embed the skills and knowledge to support our most vulnerable young people. It is important that we stand shoulder to shoulder in our efforts, to keep our young people and communities safe.

“By holding West Midlands Police to account, I will continue to make a difference, so that we can ensure the region is a safer place for our young people to grow up, flourish, succeed and fulfil their potential.”

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