Police awarded extra cash to tackle serious violence in South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Police has been awarded extra cash to tackle serious violence on the county’s streets.

Friday, 10th May 2019, 12:18 pm

The Government has announced that South Yorkshire Police is to receive £2.58 million from a £100 million Serious Violence Fund for 18 forces across the country.

An extra £500,000 was awarded to the force yesterday ahead of ministerial meeting in Downing Street, chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May, on the government’s response to tackling serious youth violence

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Before Easter the Government allocated £51 million from the pot, with £2m awarded to South Yorkshire Police, and yesterday a further £12.4 million was handed out.

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid said the cash has gone to tackle violent crime in the ‘worst affected areas’.

In South Yorkshire the cash will fund a ‘dedicated violent crime taskforce targeting those who carry knives and weapons’.

Mr Javid said: “I’ve been doing everything in my power to ensure we have the strongest possible response to tackle violent crime - and law enforcement plays a key role in this.

“This money means forces can take urgent action, including more officers on duty in the worst affected areas.

“It takes a collective effort to tackle violent crime and I’ll continue to work closely with police and partners to end this senseless bloodshed.”

The £2.58m awarded to South Yorkshire Police is on top of the £261.8 million the force is receiving this year from the Government and Council Tax – an increase of £16m from last year.

The boost coincides with the force’s plans to recruit an additional 55 officers to bolster the front line in the fight against crime.

South Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Tim Forber said: “We are totally committed to tackling serious violence in our communities and welcome this additional Home Office funding.

“We will be using this to create a dedicated violent crime taskforce, which will be very visible on the streets of South Yorkshire, targeting those who carry knives and weapons and tirelessly pursuing them.

“Alongside this, we will be working with partners to develop a public health approach to serious violent crime, intervening to prevent people becoming involved in serious violence.”

Last year, youth violence on the streets of South Yorkshire hit the headlines when 15-year-old Sam Baker was stabbed to death by another 15-year-old in Lowedges.

Sam was killed when his own knife he was carrying was used against him.

His killer, who admitted manslaughter, was sentenced to two years and eight months detention.

Jailing the killer, Mr Justice Nicklin told him: “Your case represents a story that is too often repeated in cities and towns throughout our country. Samuel Baker is dead for one simple reason. Young men, some still boys, carrying knives. Without a knife that evening the two of you may have had a fight, but that would have been it.”