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South Yorkshire: Hotspot policing funding leads to over 30 arrests in six months

The force has delivered an additional 7,768 hours of patrols across South Yorkshire after receiving £1m from the Home Office's 'Grip' programme.

A new hotspot policing initiative being delivered by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) has yielded 31 arrests in its first six months.

Since July, the force has been able to rack up an additional 7,768 hours of patrols across South Yorkshire after receiving £1 million from the Home Office's 'Grip' Programme.

This programme aims to reduce serious violence by supporting both short and long-term initiatives in areas impacted by such crime. Any force with a Violence Reduction Unit was able to apply for funding.

SYP, one of 20 forces to receive a share of the £30m pot, has used its allocation to make arrests for a variety of offences including possession of a firearm, wounding and robbery. 

A total of 78 stop and searches have also been carried out, while officers on hotspot patrols have also submitted 38 police intelligence reports and made 37 further offence reports including for traffic offences, thefts and possession of drugs.

The rationale is that the police can reduce crime by delivering high-visibility hotspot patrols for short periods in areas where serious violence is deemed a risk. 

Inspector Joel Turner said: "These patrols are based on very specific research and data analysis. This has identified a number of hotspot areas where serious violence is endemic.

"We patrol these specific areas day-in day-out, bolstering day-to-day policing activity, delivered by our neighbourhood and specialist policing teams from across the force, gathering intelligence and as the results show, delivering enforcement activity against those intent on committing crime.”

This work will continue over the festive period and into the new year.

While this strategy acts as a deterrent, Insp Turner stressed that having patrols is "also about building a rapport with communities that are suffering with ongoing serious violence".

He continued: "Whilst out on patrol, our officers have built some great relationships within communities, as people are seeing the same officers almost daily, and they are regularly approached by members of the public who are pleased to hear their will be additional patrols in their area as a result of the initiative.”

Additional training for licensed premises door staff across Rotherham is also being funded by the programme.

This will be rolled out further across South Yorkshire in 2023, while further problem solving work is currently being developed for implementation in the new year. 

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