After a very difficult weekend in London, our thoughts are with the families, friends and neighbourhoods affected by those incidents of violent crime. Across England and Wales we are increasing police capacity in the forces most affected by violent crime, investing £176 million over two years. We have recently consulted on serious violence reduction orders, which will give the police stop-and-search powers to target individuals previously convicted of knife offences, and we are investing many millions of pounds in early intervention schemes to stop young people being drawn into violence in the first place.
After the recent tragic knife-related murder of a young man in Winsford, Cheshire police have secured funding for 25 16 to 18-year-olds to take part in an employment mentoring programme led by We Mind The Gap, as well as identifying a former community centre to deliver youth and apprenticeship activities. Will my hon. Friend congratulate Cheshire police on a constructive and long-term problem-solving approach to this issue and ensure that they have the funding necessary to prevent knife crime from happening in the first place?
My hon. Friend has a distinguished record of helping the most vulnerable children in our society, and I join him in welcoming the investment in this and other intervention projects in Cheshire to tackle the root causes of violent crime. I commend the work of Cheshire police in supporting such projects. In this financial year, Cheshire police will receive up to £219 million in funding, and it has already recruited 91 additional officers under the police uplift programme.