South Yorkshire PCC has been awarded £1.6 million of funding to set up a violence reduction unit, the Policing Minister has announced today (Monday 12 August).
The new unit will bring together local police, youth workers, health and education professionals to understand the causes of serious violence in South Yorkshire and agree a co-ordinated response.
South Yorkshire PCC will spend the cash on a number of short and long-term projects aimed at diverting people away from violence, including a new sports scheme with five local football clubs sport foundations that will run in crime hot spot areas and additional support services and workshops for vulnerable people.
The unit will also facilitate a programme where trained professionals will provide support to serious violence victims in A&E departments.
Kit Malthouse, Policing Minister said:
“I am deeply concerned about the rise in knife crime that we have seen across the country.
“While tough law enforcement plays a vital role, all parts of the community must work together to understand and address the underlying causes of violent crime.
“The new violence reduction unit in South Yorkshire will ensure that there is a strong, local multi-agency approach to this issue and I am confident it will deliver real results.”
Dr Alan Billings South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“I welcome this £1.6 million funding to develop in South Yorkshire a Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) along the lines of the Scottish VRU in Glasgow that contributed towards the dramatic fall in serious violence there.
“This is in addition to £2.58 million awarded earlier in the year for South Yorkshire Police to take action against criminal gangs and others who commit serious violence.
“Taken together, this enables police and partners to tackle both violent crime and its root causes”.
The cash for the unit comes from £35 million that was put aside from the £100 million surge fund to tackle serious violence.
It was awarded to South Yorkshire PCC after they submitted a successful bid for the provisional allocation of the funding.
It is in addition to a total of £63.4 million that was given to the eighteen forces for additional officer deployments, improved intelligence, and short-term operational actions such as targeting habitual knife carriers.
Another £1.6 million of the surge fund is being spent on ensuring forces collect better data to support their planning and ensure targeted action.
The funding is on top of the £261.8 million South Yorkshire Police is receiving as a result of the police funding settlement for 2019/20, including council tax.