Crime hotspots in Hampshire to be tackled by police using £4m funding

POLICE in Hampshire are set to tackle violent crime by targeting ‘hotspots’ using funding of £4.1m.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 8:59 am
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 9:00 am

The force has been named as one of 18 across the country to receive the cash from the Home Office as part of a tactic that sends officers on short, high-visibility patrols in problem areas.

It comes as a pilot by Essex Police last year saw a 73.5 per cent drop in violent crime and 31.9 per cent fall in street crime on days when patrols visited, compared with days they did not.

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Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, of Essex Police, said officers targeted 20 hotspots, each of 150 metres by 150 metres, with 15 minute patrols in Southend.

DCI Basford, who designed the so-called ‘hotspot policing’ as part of his masters degree in criminology from Cambridge University, said: ‘This is about putting a police officer in an area for the shortest amount of time for the highest residual benefit on crime.

‘We’re getting the presence of the police, we’re giving back to the public a visible police presence, but we’re doing it at sporadic times, the right times, the right place, driven by data… driven by the inconsistencies of when we’re there.’

He said that some days officers may attend at 2pm, the next day may be at 6pm.

He said that during the pilot, officers conducted patrols at one location for three days in a row and found that the effect lasted for a further three days afterwards, with crime rising on the fourth day without a patrol.

As a result the Home Office is giving 18 police forces a share of an additional £4.12 million to increase hotspot policing in towns and cities blighted by violent crime- including Metropolitan Police, West Midlands, Bedfordshire, Sussex and Hampshire.

Policing minister Kit Malthouse added: ‘This kind of data-driven scientific hotspot policing is showing fantastic results in dealing with that problem so we’re investing in it across 18 areas of the country that are most plagued by this kind of violence and hopefully we’ll see significant falls over the months to come.’

He said the extra funding is from £28 million won in the spending review last year to combat violence.

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