A MINISTER will visit the North-East today to host an event aimed at tackling the rise in violent crime across the region.

Victoria Atkins, the Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerabilities Minister, will attend an event in Newton Aycliffe in the latest in a series of engagement events led by the Home Office to help people take action in their communities.

Police, health, education, social services, youth offending services, housing, local authorities and charities will attend to discuss what national and regional support is available as well to discuss how a new public health approach will see all agencies working together to stop violent crime.

The Police and Crime Commissioners for Durham, Cleveland and Northumbria will also be in attendance to discuss how to ensure how they can tackle violent crime together.

Ms Atkins said: “Every day, violence is claiming lives on our streets and within communities right across the country.

“The need to tackle this issue could not be more immediate, or the impact on families and communities more real.

“While tough law enforcement is essential, it is also important to find long term solutions, particularly to tackle the root causes of serious violence.”

Dame Vera Baird, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, said: “This event shows that the three North-East police forces are determined to continue tackling serious violent crimes.

“We are committed to working with partners to show that positive outcomes can be achieved in addressing this issue. Northumbria Police continue to be at the heart of our local communities, working with neighbouring forces and the Home Office.”

Ron Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, said:“Our approach to tackling serious violence includes a commitment to early intervention so that young people make positive choices rather than going down the wrong path. Durham Constabulary’s checkpoint scheme provides interventions for adults committing lower level offences and who otherwise would not have received support to desist from further offending”.

Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, added: “We welcome the opportunity to bring together partners from across the region to discuss local plans to tackle serious violence.

“In Cleveland, the Early Intervention Youth Fund award will give us the ability to take forward this important work and prevent victimisation.”

In April, the Government announced £100m of funding to tackle serious violence across England and Wales.