'Make our streets safer': Lancashire Police to receive funding to tackle 'violent crime hotspots' in county
Lancashire Police are set to receive a share of new Government funding introduced in a bid to crack down on murders, knife crime and other serious violent offences.
Lancashire Police are to be given their share of an extra £30 million funding pot to target violence hotspots across the county.
£710,500 has been secured by Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner to help tackle violence, murder and knife crime over the next year, after over 2,000 knives were taken off the streets as a result of last year's funding.
The Government cash is set to be made available to forces in parts of England and Wales which are “most affected by serious violence”, according to the Home Office.
It will support a programme of work to prevent some of the most serious types of crime and keep people safe and feeling safe from violent crime.
Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Working with individuals, diverting young people away from crime and getting knives and other weapons off our streets is exactly what we want to see and it's crucial that all parts of our society work together to tackle in head-on and make our streets safer.
“I'm pleased to secure this funding which will support continued activity that helps tackle serious and violent crime in the county.
"Thousands of knives were removed from our streets last year as part of activity carried out through surge funding, with this further investment helping to continue tackling crime and strengthening our communities, both key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan.
Over the last year, police surge funding has supported Operation Edge enforcement activity including uniformed patrols, intelligence-led operations, weapon sweeps, knife bins and community engagement, with over 2,600 knives taken off Lancashire streets between April and December 2020 last year.
Being split between different police forces, the funding will also pay for renewing and expanding other existing projects – like those challenging the behaviour of domestic abusers and paying for police investigations into gang material on social media.
The announcement comes ahead of the introduction of a criminal justice Bill that will seek to give police more stop and search powers to tackle those known to carry knives and other weapons.
The Bill also seeks to place a duty on public bodies, like the police and education authorities, to work together to address violence, as well as require councils to review deaths where weapons like knives are involved to help prevent more tragedies in future.
In the past two years £100 million of such funding has resulted in more than 100,000 weapons being seized and has seen thousands of hours of police activity like increased patrols and searches, the Home Office said.
Det Ch Supt Sue Clarke, Head of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network said: “This funding is very welcome. It will be used to enhance operational policing activity in hot spot areas across the county.
"Whilst partners on the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network are focussing on work to collectively tackle the underlying causes of violence, this funding will help us target violent offenders currently blighting communities in Lancashire.”
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