LANCASHIRE KNIFE CRIME FUNDING
In June 2019, the Government announced Home Office funding to assist 18 Police Force areas to tackle knife crime. The funding has primarily been made available to enable forces to carry out an additional operational activity such as increased use of stop and search powers and targeted operations in known knife crime hot spot areas.
The Home Office have indicated that the funding should be focused on:
- Hotspot areas
- Individuals and groups
- Investigative Response
- Equipment & Technology
The key success measures determined by the Home Office are:
- A reduction in hospital admissions for assaults with a knife or sharp object and
especially among those victims aged under 25.
- A reduction in knife-enabled serious violence and especially among those victims aged under 25.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner has received a £1.8M grant to support additional operational activity in the Constabulary in response to the four areas of focus identified by the Home Office.
Whilst the majority of increased, or surge, activity will be undertaken by the Constabulary this does include some partnership work with Trading Standards. The fund has also been used to secure a number of knife “arches” for use in town and city centres or at specific events where there are concerns regarding the potential for carrying or using knives. A number of knife bins have also been obtained with this funding to ensure there are adequate opportunities for the surrender of knives and other bladed items.
Engagement and consultation with partners, the community and young people is also a key aspect of the knife crime work and this funding has enabled a detailed piece of work to be undertaken to increase the understanding of the drivers and causes of knife crime. This will be used to support the development of a range of effective and evidence based programmes for use in schools, colleges and community settings.
The Police and Crime Commissioner has allocated £100,000 of the grant to fund Third Sector and Community Organisations to deliver projects that help to tackle knife related crime with a particular focus on those that aim to address the known underlying causes and drivers of knife crime.
OUTCOMES IN LANCASHIRE
The Home Office funding was formally confirmed in July 2019 but has been available to fund activity from April 2019. Since the start of the funding period in Lancashire:
- Over 1200 knives have been either seized or surrendered as a result of the additional targeted operations, including 147 knives surrendered as part of Operation Sceptre, a week of intensive activity in September.
- Police use of Stop/Search activity has increased significantly in hotspot areas across the county.
THIRD SECTOR AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS GRANTS
The Police and Crime Commissioner is administering a £100,000 fund for Third Sector and Community Organisations to submit applications for funding up to a maximum of £20,000 for projects and programmes that fulfil the following criteria:
- Primarily, but not exclusively, aimed at under 25 year olds.
- Primarily aimed at preventing CYPs from becoming involved in the carrying,
ownership or use of knives, but will also consider programmes that reduce the risk of CYPs being involved in all types of violence.
This may include programmes and projects that are targeted at some of the known causes of knife carrying and ownership.
- Evidenced based, to show that the proposed project will be effective in engaging with CYPs (and/or adults and communities) and will be effective in driving a change in attitudes and behaviour.
- Evidence to show the project will take a Trauma Informed approach in the way that programmes and projects are delivered.
- Clearly defined measures and outcomes and agreed reporting timescales
- Project capable of being delivered by 31st March 2020
- Not used to fund permanent posts
The Fund will open for applications on Friday 18th October and will close to applications on Friday 15th November at 5pm.
Full details of the Fund and an Application Form are available at: www.lancashire- pcc.gov.uk/our-money/grant-funding/