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Commissioner to receive £1m to fund hotspot antisocial behaviour patrols

Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed £1m of additional funding to tackle antisocial behaviour (ASB).

Commissioner to receive £1m to fund hotspot antisocial behaviour patrols

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez accompanies Sergeant Harrier Harper on the beat in Exeter city centre

Alison Hernandez will use the money, announced today, to fund ‘hotspot’ patrols to tackle violence and disorder, targeted in areas with high levels of ASB.

Tackling ASB is one of the Commissioner’s four Police and Crime Plan priorities, with surveys of Devon and Cornwall residents indicating that more are concerned with it than any other policing issue.

In recent years the Commissioner has supported Devon & Cornwall Police's Operation Loki, a hotspot policing initiative which has so far seen more than 150 people arrested in towns and cities across Devon and Cornwall. She has funded marshals to tackle seasonal ASB in tourist areas and paid for bespoke training for officers and staff to enhance their response to ASB.

In recent years she has helped secure more than £5m in Safer Streets monies for communities across the force area to tackle street-level drug dealing and criminality which makes people feel unsafe, and is opening a further 18 police station ‘front desks’ to enable more people to report crime and seek help face to face.

She said: “I know how devastating ASB can be for victims, particularly if the offending is persistent and targeted. I am pleased that with my support and prioritisation Devon & Cornwall Police has made some significant steps towards tackling it, by recruiting an additional 686 officers, with the support of our communities through their council tax, and getting more of these officers out on the streets where the public want them.

“People particularly want a reassuring presence in those areas where they feel less safe because of ASB and this additional money will enable me to provide more uniformed patrols where they are needed most, and also to bear down on my other Police and Crime Plan priorities of tackling violence and drug misuse.”

The Home Office funding, which totals £66 million for England and Wales, will enable each all 43 forces areas to support between 600,000 and 900,000 hours of hotspot patrols over the next year.

This approach has already been piloted in 10 areas, with over 80,000 hours of patrols in the six months since it launched. This has led to nearly 600 arrests, close to 1,500 stop and searches and around 700 uses of ASB powers such as community protection notices and public protection orders.

The Commissioner's 2021-25 Police and Crime Plan, which sets a strategic direction for policing and was created in consultation with communities across Devon and Cornwall, can be read here.