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Additional £735,000 funding announced to tackle serious violence across the Thames Valley

An additional £735,000 of funding is available to Thames Valley Police to pay for surge activity in serious violence hotspots across the force area over the next financial year.

The Home Secretary today (Monday 8 March) announced a national package of £30 million to support targeted action against serious violence, murder and knife crime. 

Thames Valley Police will receive a share of this latest funding which it will use to continue the delivery of Operation RASURE, the force’s response to violent and knife-enable crime. 

Welcoming the additional funding, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber said: 

“We must use every tool available to us in the battle against serious violence. This additional funding will support Thames Valley Police’s proactive enforcement operations that will continue to take knives off our streets and reduce violence across the Thames Valley. It complements the work of the PCC’s Violence Reduction Unit which brings together partner organisations such as councils, schools and the NHS to bring about long term change. With tough enforcement and long term support we can reduce violence and save lives.” 

First launched in April 2020, Operation RASURE is delivering intelligence-led enforcement and problem-solving activity across the whole force area to drive down violent crime and keep communities safe.  

This includes specialist operations targeting those individuals suspected of violent crime and particularly knife offences, providing additional high-visibility patrols in hotspot areas, the targeted use of stop and search powers and the seizure of weapons and drugs.  

In addition to proactive enforcement operations, Operation RASURE also supports prevention and intervention activity. It has provided support to those most vulnerable to violent crime, knife crime and exploitation by gangs and county lines drug networks. 

The operation has supported prevention activities to try to stop those becoming caught up in violent crime and to divert people, particularly the young, away from criminality. 

Operation RASURE is directed by the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, working with officers from across specialist policing units together with those from Local Policing Areas, best able to identify the local community priorities. 

Last figures show (see full data table below): 

  • 10% reduction in serious violence offences (includes all Knife Crime and GBH and above offences)
  • 12% reduction in the most serious violent offences (GBH and above)
  • 5% reduction in Possession of an Offensive Weapon/Bladed Article offences committed by those under 25
  • All Knife Crime is down 9% 

Operation RASURE has delivered:

  • 105 proactive deployments across the force area
  • Resulted in the arrest of over 800 individuals
  • Seizure of over 250 weapons and thousands of pounds worth of illegal drugs 

Superintendent Stan Gilmour, Director of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, said: 

“Tackling serious violence and in particular knife offences is a priority for the force, for our wider partners and of course for communities across the Thames Valley.  

“This latest funding will enable us to continue to deliver Operation RASURE, which has already had a huge impact through its proactive and highly-visible policing activity.  

“It will also help us to continue to protect those most vulnerable through supporting innovative prevention programmes to divert people away from violent offending at the earliest point. 

“This is just part of our wider commitment to tackle serious violence.  The Thames Valley Violence Reduction Partnership is an innovative approach, bringing all the partners and our communities together – not just the police – to tackle the root-causes of violent offending and to keep our communities safe.” 

 

1 April 2019 – 7 March 2020

1 April 2020 – 7 March 2021

Percentage change

Serious Violence offences overall:  Includes Knife Crime and all of the most serious violence offences (GBH and above)

2,049

1,844

-10%

Possession of Offensive Weapon/Bladed Article involving under-25s

639

553

-13.50%

Grievous Bodily Harm and other most serious violent offences

711

625

-12.10%

 

1 April 2019 - 31 January 2020

1 April 2020 - 31 January 2021

Percentage change

All Knife Crime offences, using Home Office definition

1,338

1,219

-8.90%

 

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Supt Stan Gilmour, Director of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), is available for interview, both to discuss the specifics of this latest funding and the wider work of the VRU.  Contact Tim Wiseman, Senior Communications Officer, Violence Reduction Unit via tim.wiseman@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk or 07811 512 924.

Funded by the Home Office, Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit was created in 2019 with the aim to reduce the number of people affected by serious violence across the Thames Valley.  The unit is a partnership, working closely with those from across policing, education, social care and health, working to address the causes and effects of serious violence.