Vi­o­lent crime force handed £3m boost

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By SO­PHIE HALLE-RICHARDS so­[email protected] @so­phiehrMEN

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.”

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