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Police crackdown on anti-social behaviour

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Police crackdown on anti-social behaviour

Every force in England and Wales is going to get a share of £66 million to ramp up uniformed patrols

Every police force in England and Wales is being handed a share of £66 million to ramp up patrols in areas plagued by anti-social behaviour.

The Government funding is expected to allow each of the 43 forces to launch uniformed patrols for up to an estimated 20,000 hours a year in so-called “hotspot” areas where there are high levels of violence and disorder.

Every force will receive at least £1 million, with the Metropolitan Police being given more than £8 million, West Midlands receiving at least £3 million while Greater Manchester Police, Merseyside and West Yorkshire will all get more than £2 million each, the Home Office said.

The department said the cash will help “drive down crime and boost public confidence” as it announced the move on Thursday.

The nationwide rollout of the plan comes after successful trials in counties including Essex and Lancashire.

There were more than 80,000 hours of patrols over six months in the 10 force areas which carried out a pilot of the scheme, leading to hundreds of arrests and cutting levels of anti-social behaviour, according to officials.

A target to shut down a further 1,000 county lines drug networks by August has also been set.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said anti-social behaviour “destroys communities and takes away the public’s right to feel safe in the place they call home”.

The Government’s plan to cut crime is “working”, he said but added: “We will not stop until every person, no matter where they live, can feel safe and proud of their community. That is why we are investing in every police force in England and Wales so they can tackle violence and disorder head on.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly said getting more officers out on the streets was “vital for public confidence”, adding: “Our plan will put more officers on patrol in local communities up and down the country – an approach that has been proven to work, to help ensure that people are not only safe, but that they feel safe, in their neighbourhoods.”

The announcement is the latest step in the Government’s anti-social behaviour action plan, which was launched in March last year and pledged to take a “zero-tolerance approach to all forms of anti-social behaviour”.

The news was welcomed by bodies representing police chiefs and police and crime commissioners.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet, who leads the National Police Chiefs’ Council work on anti-social behaviour, said: “Residents often tell us they want to see more uniformed officers out in their local area and this additional funding will not only help forces to enhance their current activity, but it will enable them to target their resources to hotspot areas, where criminal activity is most concentrated and areas most at risk of harm.”

Steve Turner, who leads the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ work on local policing, said: “The anti-social behaviour hotspot pilots have demonstrated what can be achieved by concentrating efforts on problem areas and following a zero-tolerance approach to drug taking, loitering and fly-tipping.

“Police and crime commissioners know from their engagement with communities how the public want the tackling of anti-social behaviour to be prioritised.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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