Confirmed £1m Funding Boost to Help Further Reduce Knife Crime and Violence in Nottinghamshire

Via Councillor Richard MacRae: £1m funding boost is to be spent on police resources to help tackle and further reduce violence and knife crime in Nottinghamshire over the next year.

The force received final confirmation last week that it will receive a further £1,003,730 Home Office funding in 2020-21.

A chunk of the cash will pay for more hours of front-line police work, specifically targeting knife crime.

The money will be spent in three key areas and contribute towards:

• Prevention and enforcement in violent crime/knife crime hotspot areas

• Intelligence development and targeting of groups and individuals through the work of the force’s dedicated knife crime analyst and researcher

• Investigative response

This money comes on top of the funding already provided to Nottinghamshire to fund the launch of its multi-agency Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) last year, which amounted to £880,000, and a further £880,000 which it secured to continue the VRU’s work for the coming 12 months.

The force also received £1.54m of Government surge funding last year, provided by the Home Office, bolstering its resources to specifically tackle violence.

These previous tranches of funding, through the projects and initiatives it has supported, has contributed to a 13.5 per cent reduction in knife crime in Nottinghamshire, pre-COVID-19 lockdown, over the last year.

Statistics show that the number of violent knife crime offences recorded by Nottinghamshire Police fell from 882 to 763 between April 2019 and March 2020 compared to the same period for the previous year.

The number of violent knife crime offences recorded in the city, comparing the same periods before the Covid-19 lockdown came into effect, showed a 16.4 per cent drop – equating to a reduction from 469 to 392 offences.

Reintroducing Schools and Early Intervention Officers, dedicated to working with children in schools across the county, and the work of the VRU are believed to be among the key reasons for these reductions.

The VRU has brought police and partner organisations together to tackle violent crime by understanding its root causes and coming up with plans aimed at preventing young people becoming involved in violent behaviour.

Superintendent Ted Antill, the force’s lead for knife crime, integrated offender management and youth justice, said: “This extra funding is a welcome boost to our ongoing work to tackle and further reduce knife crime through a combination of education and enforcement.

“The force has invested heavily in a programme of recruitment of officers to the front line over the last year and this is now paying off as our crime reduction rates have shown.

“Our dedicated Knife Crime Team and Robbery Team have both had a significant impact on tackling and reducing knife crime and this extra funding we have secured will be used to further boost our front-line resources.

“Our Knife Crime Team is tasked in line with intelligence and information we receive and as a result of research and analysis.

“We have a dedicated knife crime analyst and researcher whose work helps us to identify hotspots and trends. This allows us to be very targeted with our patrols and other initiatives to tackle knife crime.

“The VRU funding and Home Office surge funding we have received has also been used to target additional patrols and other officer activity to combat knife crime.

“Street outreach workers, a custody diversion scheme and other initiatives including the Ben Kinsella Trust at the National Justice Museum serve to educate young people and help them to make positive life choices.

“We have a very robust approach to dealing with knife crime offenders, including youth offenders, to ensure that no opportunity is missed to divert them away from this kind of offending.

“Working with our partners in the City and County Youth Justice Services, among others, we adopt a tailored approach to each individual to ensure they get access to the right kind of support.

“The reduction we’ve seen in violent knife crime offences is also testament to the continued support from our communities and community groups, who play a vital role in helping us to tackle the issue.”

Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “I welcome the reduction in serious violence, particularly knife crime, which is set against a rising regional and national trend.

“I know that this is the result of a great deal of hard work by the police and our partners and it’s clear to me that collectively we achieve a great deal more.

“We will continue to tackle violence, using the funding we have received to greatest effect. We are working hard to ensure that people understand that carrying knives costs lives.”

PHOTO ABOVE: The multi-agency Violence Reduction Unit is believed to be among the key factors which has contributed to a pre-COVID-19 reduction in knife crime in Nottinghamshire over the past year. Pictured are Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford with Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping

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