Successful operation to target street-based violent crime will continue
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A successful scheme by Leicestershire Police using high visibility patrols to target street-based violent crime in the city will continue.
Since the end of July 2021, the force has used specific funds from the Home Office to send extra foot patrols into ‘hot-spot’ areas, initially within Leicester city centre.
Figures show that in the year the operation ran, there were 47.5 per cent fewer robberies in the city centre, compared to the same period in 2018/19 – a similar time period not affected by Covid related lockdowns.
Robberies of victims aged 25 and under in the city centre also fell by 62.1 per cent between the same period.
Overall, across the force this led to 39 per cent fewer robberies.
Now, thanks to nearly £1.7 million in further funding, the force is extending its hot-spot policing approach throughout the city.
The money will also fund partnership work in serious violence hotspots to address the longer term causes of serious violence.
Detective Inspector Mark Brennan has been leading the operation, known as Operation Goshawk, since it launched in July last year.
He said: “Feedback from the community has been very positive so far and our work continues.
“Our aim is to prevent crime from happening in the first place by having a highly visible presence while of course responding to any criminality encountered by officers.
“We carry out these actions all the time, but our focus through ‘hot-spot’ policing has been on where this is most needed and at what times it can be most effective. This means constantly reviewing our data to ensure we’re in the right place, at the right time. Early analysis shows this is driving down potential criminality and therefore reducing the number of serious crimes in Leicester.
“Officers working on the operation will use Body Worn Video (BWV) while on patrol because we know it’s an effective preventive tool which can assist in de-escalating potential situations.”
The hot-spot policing tactic was first trialled by Essex Police and due to its success in driving down crime rates, has been trialled elsewhere.
A recent independent evaluation by the University of Cambridge into Leicestershire Police’s hot spot policing approach, praised its work as a “good example” of how to implement the tactic.
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 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 (VRN), which aims to create longer term violence reduction programmes with the support of Leicestershire Police, the Youth Justice Service, education providers and substance misuse organisations including Leicester based Turning Point.
For more information and guidance for young people, parents and practitioners about how to stay safe visit the LiveSafe website.