A Whitehall team tackling County Lines drug gangs has been mothballed after two years.
Then-Home Secretary Amber Rudd set up the Serious Violence Taskforce in April 2018 as part of £40million in measures to “get a grip” on gun, knife and drug crime.
And she declared: “We will work towards putting a stop to the County Lines gangs.”
Yet her successor, Sajid Javid, chaired the last meeting on June 26, 2019, and the Home Office will not say if the group will reconvene.
Ms Rudd branded it “disappointing”, adding: “Its strength was bringing together so many different parts working to save lives. Not just with policing but early intervention.”
It comes amid surging knife crime with an average 125 incidents a day last year – 49% more than when recording began in 2011.
The Home Office said: “We are considering the future role of the Serious Violence Taskforce. We are incredibly grateful for its work.”
Last year the scale of cuts to youth services was laid bare.
An exclusive Mirror Online investigation reveals that hundreds of youth workers have lost their jobs and millions of pounds have been slashed off council budgets during the Tory-led austerity programme.
Birmingham’s council has seen its youth services budget go from £7.94million ten years ago to just £1.9m while Liverpool has just 26 council-employed youth workers compared to 110 in 2009.
In London more than 500 youth worker jobs have been slashed and dozens of youth centres have been forced to close.
Enfield – the London borough with the highest rate of serious youth violence – has seen its budget for youth services fall from £2.6m in 2009 to just £569,040 in 2019.
Campaigners have told Mirror Online there is “no doubt” the cuts to youth services have led to an increase in knife crime, and a council leader said young people have paid with their lives.
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