Police to get extra cash to tackle knife crime in Sheffield and across South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Police will get a share of £100 million to tackle the knife crime crisis, the Chancellor has announced.

By Sam Cooper
Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 4:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 4:13 pm
Det Supt Una Jennings of South Yorkshire Police launching Operation Sceptre earlier this week.

The extra funding for forces in England has been earmarked for overtime costs and specialist units dedicated to combating serious violence.

While the measure was welcomed by police chiefs, one rank-and-file leader warned it was only a ‘short-term fix’.

Det Supt Una Jennings of South Yorkshire Police launching Operation Sceptre earlier this week.

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Total funding for forces in England and Wales reduced by 19 per cent in real terms from 2010/11 and 2018/19, according to the National Audit Office.

Officer numbers have fallen by nearly 20,000 since 2010.

In December, Home Secretary Sajid Javid unveiled a provisional settlement that could see police funding rise by nearly £1 billion from April, including money raised through council tax.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said many police and crime commissioners have already committed to using this extra funding to recruit and train additional officers.

"But that takes time," he said. "And action is needed now."

He said the additional £100 million over the course of the next year will be ring-fenced to pay for additional overtime targeted specifically on knife crime, and to fund new violent crime reduction units to deliver a "wider cross-agency response to this epidemic".

Mr Javid said the money, including £80 million of new funding from the Treasury, will allow police to swiftly crack down on knife crime in areas where it is most rife, including South Yorkshire.

He added: "I am deeply concerned by the rising level of knife crime that is devastating communities and robbing young people of their lives and futures.

"Law enforcement plays a key role - and it is clear from speaking to police leaders in recent weeks that they need an immediate increase in resources."

National Police Chiefs' Council chairwoman Sara Thornton welcomed the announcement.

She said: "It will help police forces strengthen our immediate response to knife crimeand serious violence.

"Bringing violence down is a police priority. We know what works to bring down violence and this additional funding will help us to increase the number of officers available to carry out targeted patrols in crime hotspots, increase our use of stop and search and disrupt gangs and crime groups."

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Whilst the funding is welcome it is, however, just a short-term fix as knife crime and violent crime continues to plague our towns and cities. We still urgently need additional resources to solve this issue in the long run.

"The Government must make a significant investment in the spending review to give police the long-term boost they need."