Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond Image Credit: AP

London: Britain's finance minister on Wednesday announced more money for police forces to tackle the knife crime "epidemic", following a spate of teenage stabbing murders.

An extra £100 million ($130 million, 115 million euros; Dh484 million) is being made available over the next year in England to cover the costs of police overtime spent tackling the issue, and to fund new Violent Crime Reduction Units.British police get #100m to tackle knife crime surge

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made the announcement in his Spring Statement budget update in parliament.

Stabbings have been in the spotlight following a string of fatal attacks in recent weeks.

On Thursday, a teenager became the 17th person knifed to death in London alone in 2019.

Debate has raged over whether police have the resources available and the right tactics in place to combat the problem.

Government figures showed earlier this year that the number of fatal stabbings in England and Wales had risen to its highest level since records started more than 70 years ago.

Official statistics showed there were 285 homicides where the method of killing was by a knife or sharp instrument in the 12 months up to March 2018.