Leicestershire Police are using intensive high-visibility patrols to target street-based violent crime in the city.
The force is using specific funds from the Home Office to send extra foot patrols for short periods into ‘hot-spot’ areas, predominantly within city centre areas, where there is a risk of serious violence.
The preventative tactic was first trialled by Essex Police and due to its success in driving down crime rates, has now been pushed out elsewhere.
Sergeant Mark Brennan has been leading the operation, known as Operation Goshawk, since the end of July when it first launched.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Officers have seized drugs and bladed weapons in the course of their duties. Some 18 arrests have taken place since the start of the operation and the end of October.
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 at the earliest opportunity by diverting them towards more positive routes and addressing the underlying causes of violent behaviour.
Among the partners it works closely with is the Home Office funded Violence Reduction Network, alongside the Youth Justice Service, education settings and substance misuse organisations including Leicester based Turning Point.