The Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, visited Bedfordshire Police’s Headquarters Image Bedfordshire Police

Force has received over £10 million of government funding over the last two years to tackle serious youth violence

Bedfordshire Police’s specialist guns and gangs unit showcased its work today (11 August 2020) to the policing minister. The Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, visited Bedfordshire Police’s Headquarters.

He spent some time with the Boson team to see what work they are doing to tackle gun and gang activity and drive down serious youth violence in the county.

Bedfordshire has received more than £10 million of government funding over the last two years to tackle serious youth violence. This is both through enforcement activity as well as funding prevention and diversion projects for young people.

The Force reported that Boson has carried out 300 search warrants, arrested more than 400 suspects and seized 47 firearms, 23 imitation firearms, 1,252 rounds of viable ammunition, 7.3 kilos of Class A and 11.4 kilos of Class B drugs as well as more than £156,000 in cash.

Adding that the team is managing a ‘significant’ number of different gangs and organised crime groups and plays a leading role in preventing serious youth violence in the first place.

Boson showed Mr Malthouse a video of the daily reality that officers face, and talked the minister through how the team is managing gangs, combatting drugs and county lines and the prevention work it is doing with partners to divert those susceptible to gang exploitation.

Detective Superintendent Duncan Young said:

“It was great having the minister visit today, as we were able to show him the good work we do in Boson and how we have used government funding in our fight against gun and gang activity and serious youth violence.

“However, we have also been able to show him the levels of demand that exist within Bedfordshire and why we need that continued support to help us continue to drive down and reduce this even further.

“A big part of this will be tackling the illegal drugs market, which drives so much of the organised criminal activity and serious violence we see in the county.

“We are committed to taking a partnership approach to cracking this problem, which I know the minister wholeheartedly supports.”

Anyone with any information or concerns about drugs or gang activity can contact police through the online reporting service or through 101. You can also report information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

For more information or support on gangs and serious violence please visit bedsveru.org.