Violent crime force handed £3m boost
A TASK force set up to tackle violent crime, including the use of knives in the region has received a multi-million pound cash boost from the government.
The Home Office announced 18 police and crime commissioners will receive a share of an extra £35m to tackle violent crime in their area.
Greater Manchester is expected to benefit from an extra £3.3m over the course of 2020 to 2021.
The city’s Violence Reduction Unit brings together GMP and other local agencies, to address and prevent the underlying causes of violent crime.
The launch of the unit in October, came after a number of high-profile incidents across the region in 2019, many of which involved the use of a knife.
In March, Manchester Grammar School pupil Yousef Makki was killed after being stabbed in the chest on Gorse Bank Road in Hale Barns.
Joshua Molnar, 17, is serving a sentence after admitting possessing the knife which caused Yousef’s fatal wound and perverting the course of justice.
In October, a 40-year-old man was detained under the mental health act after three people were stabbed inside the Arndale Centre.
Around 125 people from the city were admitted to hospital with stab wounds in 2018/19 - up more than a quarter from 95 cases the year before.
The specialist unit is focused on working with schools to identify young people at risk of committing violent crime.
Police officers are also expected to carry out targeted activity on transport routes, in town and city centres, hospital emergency departments. A number of test purchase operations have been conducted by GMP in an attempt to crack down on the purchase of illegal weapons. Earlier this year, the Home Secretary allocated £35m to Police and Crime Commissioners in the areas worst affected by violent crime to set up Violence Reduction Units. The latest cash injection has been welcomed by Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for policing, Bev Hughes.
She said: “The work of the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit is crucial to tackling serious violent crime, which causes harm and blights the lives of victims, families and communities.
“So we really welcome the additional funding that will allow the unit to continue its vital work.
“Agencies and professionals across the city-region are working together to address the underlying causes of violent crime and working with communities to prevent it.
“We are engaging with schools to increase awareness of the consequences of getting involved in violent crime, identifying and working with young people at risk, and developing a community-led approach to prevention and early intervention.
“Alongside this, police are carrying out targeted enforcement activity to seize weapons, intercept the illegal purchase of weapons and provide reassurance to communities affected by violence crime.”