22nd Jan, 2020

West Midlands Police launch Project Guardian to reduce violent crime

Sarah Mason 24th Jun, 2019

VIOLENT crime in Solihull will be tackled with police working extra hours at night.

And communities will be given pots of money to improve their areas.

The measures are part of a new initiative called Project Guardian – funded by a £7.6million Home Office grant handed to West Midlands Police to tackle knife crime and youth violence.

Last year violent crime went up by 16 per cent in the borough.

The money will fund an initial 163,400 policing hours during the first year, using existing officers working extra time dedicated to reducing violence, particularly at night.

There will be 75 new police staff investigators employed on one year contracts to help communities tackle youth violence.

The force’s #lifeorknife campaign will focus on getting young people and their parents to talk about knives by using real victims and offenders.

A Guardian Opportunities Fund will give £100,000 for schemes for young people to improve their communities.

Nearly £1.5million will be used for a wide range of diversion, mediation, support and mentoring projects for young people.

There will be 15 extra cars for officers to respond to violent crime incidents among young people.

There will also be new knife wands.

Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: “The project is focused on how to build extra capacity within the force dedicated to combating youth violence, whether that’s by more arrests, better management of offenders, education and diversion for young people or by building the best case files that we can.

“As a force we cannot prevent youth violence alone. We will be working with partners and other stakeholders to make the most of our combined skills in reducing violence among young people in the long term as well as the short term.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I have been successful in obtaining £7.6million of short term funding from the Home Office. I will make sure that money is spent to reduce violent crime and keep our communities safe. I am also focused on ensuring the government put in place the long term funding to continue to make a real difference.”

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