1. ITV Report

Bedfordshire police awarded £1m to help tackle knife crime

There's been a rise in attacks in the county over the year

Bedfordshire police will get an extra one million pounds of government funding to help tackle knife crime.

Last year four people were stabbed to death in the county, including 18-year-old Azaan Kaleem and 16-year-old Cemeren Yilmaz in Bedford.

The latest grant is part of a £51m ‘surge capacity’ fund given to 18 forces, to focus on reducing street violence.

Cemeren Yilmaz, 16, from Harrold, was killed during a brutal attack

The money given to Bedfordshire police will be added to a £4.5m grant awarded to the force in December 2018.

Bedfordshire’s Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire is delighted with the news.

She said: "We are delighted to have secured this additional funding to help tackle serious violence – particularly knife crime. Bedfordshire has seen a number of absolutely horrific incidents over the past year, including two teenage boys being murdered on our streets and many more incidents which have left people with horrendous injuries.

“We are absolutely committed to tackling the root cause of these issues, to keep our young people safe and divert them away from crime.

"We will now look at how best to spend this extra funding, but a sustainable partnership approach focused on enforcement and prevention is absolutely crucial in reducing the level of serious violence which is destroying lives.”

Bedfordshire has the 11th highest knife crime rate in England and Wales