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Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston welcomes extra £1m to step up proactive policing patrols in key ASB and violence hotspots

Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston has welcomed extra funding worth £1m to ramp up patrols to target serious violence and anti-social behaviour.

In addition to the record number of police officers in Cambridgeshire: 1,732 will be in post by the end of March, this funding will deliver additional, frequent uniformed ‘hotspot’ enforcement patrols in areas of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough where data shows a high prevalence of violence and anti-social behaviour (ASB).

It comes after the Government announced the rollout of a £66m package to enable forces to deploy extra uniformed patrols in ‘hotspot’ areas each year, helping to drive down crime and boost public confidence in their local force.

Police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston with officers
Police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston with officers

The hard-hitting approach has already been piloted in 10 other areas across England and Wales, with over 80,000 hours of patrols in the six months since it launched. This has led to almost 600 arrests, close to 1,500 stop and searches and around 700 uses of anti-social powers such as community protection notices and public protection orders.

The PCC submitted detailed proposals pulled together by Cambridgeshire Constabulary to the Home Office to secure the extra investment. Once approved, highly visible patrols will commence across the county, providing the force with additional capacity to disrupt ASB and serious violence and increase opportunities to engage with residents and businesses to gather intelligence and increase feelings of safety.

The heightened police activity will be backed up with other initiatives including the provision of taxi marshals in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres to reduce ASB incidents and violence around taxi stands within the night-time economy.

Communities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are already tackling local issues that matter to people thanks to major investment by the PCC.

The Commissioner previously announced a £820k funding boost for the county’s six Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) which has been invested in a raft of prevention measures to deliver tackle ASB and other local community safety issues. It has also paid for new Problem-Solving Coordinators for three years in each area to work with communities and partners to resolve persistent issues such as ASB.

Welcoming the latest funding, Darryl said: “ASB and violence bring misery and there is absolutely no place for this behaviour in our communities. Our residents want to see these local issues addressed. This significant extra funding will help the Constabulary deliver additional proactive policing patrols in the areas that need help the most.

”Putting communities first and crime prevention are at the heart of my Police and Crime Plan. Officers in the Constabulary’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams tackle ASB and other street crimes such as drug dealing and violence every single day of the year. There is no let-up in their determination to protect the safety of their communities. With extra resources, they will be able to do even more to build trust and confidence in policing among the wider public.”

Superintendent James Sutherland added: “If approved, this investment will enable the biggest investment in problem-oriented and hot spot policing the county has ever seen.

“This additional capacity will allow us to zero in on anti-social behaviour and serious violence while still responding to all of our other demands.”

Evidence from the national pilot has showed the ‘hotspot’ approach is helping to cut ASB by over 40 per cent in some areas of the country.

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