Home Office hands Hampshire police £1.2m to tackle ‘high levels of serious violence’

EXTRA cash being poured into tackling serious crime in Hampshire will be used to target dangerous criminals who cause misery.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 3:25 pm
Scott Chilton assistant chief constable at Hampshire Constabulary. Picture: Malcolm Wells (180320-8708)

Assistant chief constable Scott Chilton warned the £1.2m Home Office funds announced on Wednesday would be partly used to tackle specific areas and people.

It comes as a ministerial task force on serious youth violence, chaired by prime minister Theresa May, met for the first time on Wednesday.

There has been a slight decrease in knife crime in Hampshire in the year to December 2018 –  with 822 incidents recorded.

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That is down from 868 in April to March 2018 – but up from 451 in the year April 2010 to March 2011, according to latest Office for National Statistics data published last month.

Hampshire Constabulary will now receive £1.2m – and is one of 18 forces to get the cash.

Mr Chilton said: 'Part of the funds will be used to deploy officers to specifically target areas or individuals who commit serious violence.

‘I would always welcome greater funding into policing, but this is a positive step and is very much welcomed.’

He added: ‘As part of Hampshire Constabulary’s focus on tackling those criminals who cause serious violence, we are already working closely with partner agencies such as health, local authorities and education.

‘The solution is very much “whole system” where we need to work with public bodies, volunteer organisations and crucially the public to prevent serious violence in the first place.

‘This work is aimed at preventing serious violence, including issues that we have with knife crime at a local level.

‘We will continue to target those people who cause misery to our communities.’

‘We have had a real focus on this growth of violence for some time and this funding will further support our efforts.’

Home secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘I’ve been doing everything in my power to ensure we have the strongest possible response to tackle violent crime - and law enforcement plays a key role in this.

‘This money means forces can take urgent action, including more officers on duty in the worst affected areas.

‘It takes a collective effort to tackle violent crime and I’ll continue to work closely with police and partners to end this senseless bloodshed.’

Funding has been granted based on hospital data and Mr Chilton confirmed Hampshire has seen a rise in violent crime but said it is a national issue.

Last year Portsmouth City Council officials and politicians, and police, met with policing minister Nick Hurd to lobby him for extra cash for services to stop children getting involved in crime.