Government offers cash to help solve South Yorkshire’s knife crime problems this year

Police in South Yorkshire have been told the force will get an extra £2m for work on the streets to reduce knife crime incidents during the current year.

By Paul Whitehouse
Tuesday, 23 April, 2019, 14:07
Dr Alan Billings

The Minister for Policing, Nick Hurd, has announced £100m of extra funding for the forces most affected by knife crime in letters to their Police and Crime Commissioners.

Two thirds of the money is being allocated to pay for a surge in police work in the areas most affected, with the remaining £35m intended to help finance longer-term projects aimed at tackling the problems which cause knife crime.

South Yorkshire Police will be given £2m for surge activities - intensive police work in the areas of the county most affected by knife crime.

Sheffield has seen the worst of knife crime in South Yorkshire, with a catalogue of high profile incidents, but latest figures suggest a reduction in violent crime.

The force is among seven which will receive the bulk of the extra cash, in response to their record on knife crime.

Between them, they account for six out of ten hospital admissions for patients assaulted with a sharp object over the last three years.

However, South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has pointed out that the county's problems are much less serious than those endured by communities in London.

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Dr Billings said: ‘Knife crime is a national problem, especially in the urban areas. I believe South Yorkshire Police, together with partners, are already getting on top of it in the county.

"We do not see anything like the situation that Londoners have to face.

"So I welcome this money as it will enable the police to intensify operations in particular places.

"However, this is short-term. We also need to redouble our efforts to work with partners to get upstream of crime and tackle the roots of violent behaviour. Our main focus must be on preventing crimes in the first place.

"We must especially ensure that young people are not drawn into gangs and that requires a big community effort by police, schools, the local authorities, community groups and parents," he said.

Each police force area now has to formulate its plans and submit them to the Home Office by the end of May.