The Home Office has announced that a further £1.6m of funding will be made available to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, to continue the work of the recently established Violence Reduction Unit for South Yorkshire for the financial year starting in April 2020.
The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) was originally launched in September, using £1.6m of government funding made available through the PCC.
The Home Office has said that it expects the VRU to lead and co-ordinate the local response to serious violence.
The objective of the VRU is both to intensify police action against serious crime and criminal gangs, and also to prevent violence happening in the first place.
Dr Billings said: “I very much welcome this additional funding of £1.6m for the next financial year.
“It enables the recently established VRU to continue its work into the new financial year, starting in April.
“The recent stabbing in Sheffield city centre shows how necessary this funding is if we are to get on top of serious violence in South Yorkshire.
“Since we launched the Violence Reduction Fund in December we have been able to fund more than twenty projects aimed at drawing young people away from violence or helping others to break out of the cycle of crime and violence they may have fallen into.
“We shall be able to continue some of these projects and add others in the coming year.
“I am quite clear that in South Yorkshire we must be utterly determined to crack down hard on those who resort to violence and the gangs where violence often breeds, but also to understand the reasons why people are drawn to violence in the first place in order to steer them away from it.”