Police get share of £4 million to tackle violence hotspots

West Midlands Police has been handed a share of a £4 million funding pot to help target violent crime hotspots.

West Midlands Police has been given funding to tackle violence
West Midlands Police has been given funding to tackle violence

The force is one of 18 in England to receive the Home Office 'grip' funding, which is allocated to areas where there is an ongoing risk of serious violence.

The cash will allow the force to step up foot patrols of uniformed officers in crime-ridden areas, and comes after a pilot operation by Bedfordshire Police saw harm from serious violence drop by 44 per cent.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster welcomed the cash and said it would be "put to good use targeting violent crime hotspot areas".

“This funding will help us focus resources on the areas that need it most, where violence is a particular issue," he added.

Mr Foster has also called for a boost in long-term funding so the force can recruit more officers and "rebuild community policing".

"Well funded policing, matched with long term interventions to divert young people away from crime, is how we will tackle violence," he said.

According to the Home Office, the additional cash will bring the total funding given to the 18 forces to tackle serious violence this year to £28.6m.

The forces were considered to be those most affected by serious violence, and include the Met, as well as forces in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Nottinghamshire.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for serious violent crime, Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire, said: "The damage caused to lives, particularly young ones, by violence is incredibly serious and tackling this issue is a priority for policing across the country.

"There is good evidence that when done effectively, hotspot patrols can have a sustained impact on violence reduction. This additional funding is greatly welcomed as it will build on our understanding of what works.

"The hotspots strategy, in combination with the partnerships police have formed with violence reduction units, shows our commitment to supporting communities and our young people in the prevention of serious youth violence."

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said he looked forward to seeing the success of the scheme being replicated in towns and cities across the country.

West Midlands Police was given £36m extra in government funding this year – the biggest increase outside London – and has taken on more than 1,000 extra officers and staff since March 2020.

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