South Yorkshire Police to step up patrols after being awarded £1 million to tackle violent crime across Sheffield and county's 'hot spot' areas
South Yorkshire Police has been awarded £1 million in funding to tackle violent crime.
The 'grip' funding was awarded by The Home Office to support police action in areas with the highest reported rates of violence.
The funding will be used to facilitate additional patrols each day, from a dedicated team of police officers and is available until March next year.
Superintendent Colin McFarlane, from the Problem Solving and Crime Prevention Programme, said: “I'm delighted to see this show of support in tackling violent crime nationwide. The aim of this project is to rapidly reduce the levels of violence within specific areas, through targeted police action.
“In response to this funding we have introduced targeted patrols across the county, in addition to the usual neighbourhood policing activity that communities will be used to seeing.
“We are committed to protecting the public and welcome the opportunity to increase the operational response to violence in South Yorkshire.”
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This was a joint bid between my Violence Reduction Unit and the force’s Serious Violence Crime Task Force. The money will be used to tackle violent crime in South Yorkshire’s hot spot areas.
“The extra high visibility patrols will provide intense engagement time between the officers and the community along with targeted work to rapidly reduce levels of violent crime within these areas.
“However, if we are to rid South Yorkshire of serious violence, we need a two pronged approach: we must come down heavily on the organised crime gangs and we must also divert young people away from involvement with gangs and violence in the first place.
“This is what we are doing through the Violence Reduction Unit.”
Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, said: “Violent crime is a scourge that we are determined to root out across our country – this is what the public expect and deserve.
“We are putting 20,000 new police officers on the streets and are providing over £130m this year to tackle violent crime – including knife crime and murder.
“This includes funding for Violence Reduction Units, which bring together local partners to tackle the drivers of violence in their areas.
“I’m delighted that we have been able to provide South Yorkshire VRU with £4,800,000 since 2019 to double down on violence in their area – we’ll continue backing our police to protect our streets and communities.”
In the 12 months from June 2020 to May 2021, there were 3,936 violent crimes and sexual offences in the Sheffield Central and North West area. This type of crime was the highest occurring in the area, ahead of anti-social behaviour, public order offences and burglary.
May was the highest month of the year so far for crime in central Sheffield and the north west of the city, with 389 violent offences reported throughout the month.
Violent and sexual offences are also the most prevalent type of crime in north east Sheffield with 5,524 reported in the last 12 months and 531 recorded in May.