Police in Doncaster set to share in £1million funding to fight violent crime

South Yorkshire Police have been awarded £1 million in funding to tackle violent crime within the county.

The 'grip' funding was awarded by The Home Office to support police action in areas with the highest reported rates of violence.

The funding will be used to facilitate additional patrols each day, from a dedicated team of police officers and is available until March 2022.

Superintendent Colin McFarlane, from the Problem Solving and Crime Prevention Programme said: "I'm delighted to see this show of support in tackling violent crime nationwide. The aim of this project is to rapidly reduce the levels of violence within specific areas, through targeted police action.

Police vehicles respond to a crime

"In response to this funding we have introduced targeted patrols across the county, in addition to the usual neighbourhood policing activity that communities will be used to seeing.

“We are committed to protecting the public and welcome the opportunity to increase the operational response to violence in South Yorkshire.”

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This was a joint bid between my Violence Reduction Unit and the force’s Serious Violence Crime Task Force. The money will be used to tackle violent crime in South Yorkshire’s hot spot areas.

“The extra high visibility patrols will provide intense engagement time between the officers and the community along with targeted work to rapidly reduce levels of violent crime within these areas.

“However, if we are to rid South Yorkshire of serious violence, we need a two pronged approach: we must come down heavily on the organised crime gangs and we must also divert young people away from that involvement with gangs and violence in the first place.

“This is what we are doing through the Violence Reduction Unit.”

The Minister for Crime and Policing Kit Malthouse said: “Violent crime is a scourge that we are determined to root out across our country – this is what the public expect and deserve.

“We are putting 20,000 new police officers on the streets and we are providing over £130m this year to tackle violent crime – including knife crime and murder.

“This includes the funding for Violence Reduction Units, which bring together local partners to tackle the drivers of violence in their areas.”

Violent crime has risen in the Doncaster area with almost 13,000 cases over the last year, despite an overall drop in recorded offences.

South Yorkshire Police recorded 12,784 incidents of violent crime in Doncaster in the 12 months to December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was an increase of six per cent compared to the previous year.

At 41 crimes per 1,000 people, that was far higher than the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 30.

One of the main factors behind the increase in Doncaster was the rise in stalking and harassment, which rose by 19 per cent, from 4,317 incidents to 5,156.

Offences of violence without injury were recorded 4,095 times, an increase of six per cent% on the previous year, and violence with injury on 3,526 occasions, down by nine per cent.

There were three homicides, which include murders and manslaughters, down by two on the previous 12 months.