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  1. ITV Report

Chief Constable defends £7m cash injection to tackle knife crime amid growing concerns over long-term funding

  • Video report by ITV News On-Screen Journalist Nitya Rajan

Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Dave Thompson, has defended Project Guardian - the scheme that has secured almost £8m to tackle knife crime and youth violence - amid growing criticism.

Concerns have been raised by the region's Police and Crime Commissioner and an anti-knife crime campaigner about what impact it will have, as the funding only lasts for a year.

Mr Thompson said it would pose a "challenge" before adding, "it's emergency funding and we'll use it really wisely but of course there are bigger questions about the funding of policing".

He also tells ITV News the police force has been using their stop and search powers "very strongly", to combat knife crime.

The cash injection will also help purchase 15 extra police cars as well as metal detecting Credit: ITV Central

When asked about stop and search, Mr Thompson said powers have to be used by senior officers.

"It isn't good for policing to stop and search lots of young people and target indiscriminately but it's actually really helpful to target those powers against persistent offenders and we've been using those very strongly," he added.

A Home Office spokesperson said they are giving police the resources they need "to do their vital work".

They continued: "West Midlands Police’s funding will increase £42 million compared to 2018/19 including council tax precept and serious violence funding.

"It is also eligible to receive £3.37 million to set up a violence reduction unit.

"The Home Secretary has also been clear that he will prioritise police funding at the Spending Review."