Mohammad Yasin MP writes: "I am pleased to see that the Bedfordshire Police Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) has secured funding for a further 12 months.
The unit is doing vital work to tackle the root causes of knife crime and other serious youth violence across the county which has been a great concern for all of us.
But tackling these issues is complex and resolving them needs more than piecemeal funding. A long-term holistic and preventative strategy looking at the root causes of crime, gang related -violence and exploitation is needed. It's not just a policing issue, it involves everybody: schools, communities, social services. hospitals, prisons.
It means looking at the bigger picture - at school exclusions, properly funding youth services and realising that traditional punitive based measures alone does not work.
Cities like Glasgow and New York have had great success in reducing knife crime when combining traditional enforcement measures alongside preventative measures, in line with a public health approach. This is what VERU is trying to achieve and I will do all I can to ensure it has the continuity of funding necessary to achieve its aims.