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Leicestershire benefit from 'Grip' funding to target city crime hotspots

Another force has made major gains by adopting intensive, high visibility 'Grip' patrols.

Operation Goshawk, which is backed by Home Office funding, has involved intensive high-visibility patrols targeting street-based violent crime in Leicester .

Alongside front-line policing, the force is also working hard on earlier preventative measures.

The Violence and Complex Crime Unit (VCCU) works with multiple partners to engage young people by diverting them towards more positive routes and addressing the underlying  causes of violent behaviour.

That work is being delivered by the charity Turning Point.

The idea was started by Essex Police which saw a 73.5% drop in violent crime and 31.9% fall in street crime on the days the hotspots were patrolled in comparison to the days they were not.

it was adopted by the Home Office under the operational name ‘Grip’ and in September ministers announced £5m of funding to support the initiative being widened out.

Sergeant Mark Brennan has been leading Leicestershire’s operation since it first launched.

He said: “This is about preventing crime by having a high visibility presence but officers are also taking a proactive approach in terms of stop and search where it is deemed proportionate and necessary and of course responding to any criminality they encounter.

“These are actions we carry out all the time, but in terms of hot spot policing, we’ve looked very closely where it is most needed and at what times we can be most effective.”

He added: “It’s early days but we are seeing some positive results and the feedback we’ve had from the community so far has been welcoming.”

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