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The home secretary has announced increased funding for a scheme to steer young people away from crime following a sharp rise in murders, stabbings and robberies. Sajid Javid said the cash available to the Early Intervention Youth Fund – part of the government’s serious violence strategy – would be doubled from £11m to £22m.

“Intervening early in the lives of vulnerable young people can help focus their talents on positive activities and steer them away from the dangers of serious violence,” he said.

“This is why we are doubling our Early Intervention Youth Fund to £22m. The fund will support groups at the heart of our communities who educate and interact with youths – and provide them with an alternative to crime.

“We all need to work together to tackle this worrying issue, and our serious violence strategy is helping this joined-up approach.”

The additional cash comes as police-recorded crime in England and Wales hit the highest level in more than a decade.

In the 12 months to March, forces logged 5.5 million crimes – a rise of 11 per cent compared with the previous year, and the highest tally for an equivalent period since 2005-06.

The number of recorded homicides increased by 12 per cent in 2017-18 from the previous year, from 627 to 701.

Police registered 40,147 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument – a 16 per cent rise and the highest number since the start of the decade.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics on 19 July also found that the proportion of recorded crimes that result in a charge or summons has fallen below one in 10, while officer numbers are the lowest in at least 22 years.

On Saturday, senior figures at one of the largest police forces in the country raised concerns about officers’ ability to tackle crime.

West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson said having fewer officers to deal with rising crime was a “deadly equation”, and it was an “inescapable conclusion” that cuts to policing were endangering the public. Read more

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