“For the first time, crime is a more important issue to the public than health.”
Sajid Javid, Home Secretary
The rise in knife crime has seen public concern around crime and safety rise as well. The latest YouGov results indicate that (after Brexit) crime is now a more important issue to the public than health. In response to the challenge that knife crime (and indeed other forms of violent crime) presents, Home Secretary Sajid Javid has today announced a shift in the approach to tackling violent crime.
“Just as we can design products to prevent crime, we can also design policy to shape the lives of young people to prevent criminality.”
Sajid Javid, Home Secretary
The Home Office will support and facilitate “a public health approach to tackle violent crime”. This will mean “coherently” bringing together key influential touch points in a young person’s life, including teachers, nurses, doctors, as well as police when relevant. techUK is pleased to see dedication to a more collaborative and joined up approach to such a serious challenge to public safety. An enabling aspect of this approach will be to “collaborate and share information” – an existing and significant challenge in the public safety sector. This will require further attention from the Home Office if it is to be overcome and enable a genuinely collaborative, public health approach.
techUK has been working with members to champion enabling technologies of genuinely joined up, multi-agency working so we welcome the move toward a more collaborative and preventative approach.
The second announcement of the morning, the development of proposals for a new crime prevention data lab, is certainly a promising one. It reflects a recognition of the importance that data, and data-driven technologies play in preventing crime. While this is a positive step, and we understand that it is still in its early stages, we are intrigued to understand where this would fit into the wider public safety sector, and how it would relate to other related technology focused centres and panels. techUK is keen to work with the Home Office, and others, to inform the work on a potential Crime Prevention Data Lab, and in turn, underpin a greater “ability to make targeted and effective interventions”.
Overall, techUK welcomes the announcement of the new public health approach and the potential new lab but urges the Home Secretary and the Office to reach out to and work closely with the UK’s vibrant and dynamic tech sector. Technology is going to be a significant part of the solution, from enabling collaboration to supporting the efficiency of our public safety service providers. We look forward to supporting the Government’s work in this area.