Extra cash to battle violent crime as Home Office hands over £880,000 grant to Hampshire police

Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane. Picture: Sarah Standing (050319-2253)
Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane. Picture: Sarah Standing (050319-2253)
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EXTRA cash is being poured into the county in a bid to cut violent crime.

It comes as Hampshire has seen a steady increase in people being treated in hospital for stab wounds.

The Home Office has handed over £880,000 to crime commissioner Michael Lane to set up a violence reduction unit.

The new unit will tackle 'root causes of violence' and work on early intervention with young people.

A team based at Mr Lane's office will work with hubs in each of the top tier councils: Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

READ MORE: Latest crime news in Portsmouth, Havant, Gosport and Fareham

The cash was granted after officials pointed out Hampshire has a growing number of stab victims. NHS data shows 75 hospital admissions in 2018/19, up from 50 in 2014/15.

No data is available for Gosport, Fareham and Havant as admissions are too low. But in Portsmouth there have been about 10 a year. In Southampton there have been 20-30.

Mr Lane said: ‘I am delighted to receive this funding which is a result of productive partnership working between those integral to tackling violence in our communities.

‘Reaching young people early, building their skills and resilience and supporting them to fulfil their potential is the best way to reduce violence.’

READ MORE: Portsmouth man made 250 abusive calls to the police

Last month a man was stabbed in the leg outside Debenhams in Commercial Road.

The VRU is one of 18 being set up. It will bring together work in health, education, social services, probation, policing and community safety partnerships.

Chief constable Olivia Pinkney added: ‘We welcome this funding and the opportunities it will give us to do even more to prevent violence in our communities.

‘Violence in all its forms has a devastating effect on individuals, their families and the wider community. This money will enable us to do more to tackle those who commit violent offences in our streets and in our homes, but it will also enable us to work closely with our partners such as health and education to intervene early and prevent young people from being drawn into a life of violence.’

Councillor Rob Wood, Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for children and families, said: ‘Our work in Portsmouth focuses on prevention and we hope this extra funding from the Home Office can reinforce what we are already doing to help  support more people who need it.’