Toys and floral tributes laid out in Keyham in memory of the victims
A total of £822,452 has been granted by the Home Office to pay for additional policing in the Keyham area of the city and crime prevention measures like improved CCTV.
The monies are in addition to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Department for Education grants for victim services and to assist residents’ recovery from the August shooting, when a gunman killed Maxine Davison, Lee Martyn, Sophie Martyn, Kate Shepherd and Stephen Washington and seriously injured two others before taking his own life.
Experts at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (OPCC) estimate 300 people in Keyham witnessed or were directly affected by the shooting, and the impact on the community will be long lasting.
The Home Office funding is split into two grants, as follows:
- A Keyham Community Policing fund of £514,000 to support visible patrols in the Keyham area to provide community reassurance. The funding has been issued to the OPCC and will pay for Devon and Cornwall Police officers and staff, including six constables, problem solving activity and youth engagement support.
- A Safer Keyham Grant of £308,000 for crime prevention measures like improved CCTV, lighting upgrades, environmental improvements and better home security. This funding will be issued to Plymouth City Council and includes an extensive community engagement plan as well as funding to Neighbourhood Watch’s Feel Safe Scheme.
Plymouth Police Commander Chief Superintendent Matt Longman said: “We welcome the funding which has enabled the establishment of a dedicated community policing team for the Keyham area. The team has already built excellent relationships with local residents and community organisations.
“Police visibility in Keyham and across the city is more important than ever at a time when some residents may feel vulnerable and in need of reassurance.
“The Keyham team has been and will continue to work with partner agencies and the local community to listen, reassure, and play its role in helping the community remain safe and secure.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “I have spent a considerable amount of time understanding the impact of the tragic events of August 12 in Keyham and Ford and got to know a vibrant and diverse community.
“As the person with responsibility for delivering victim services in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly I am pleased my office has been able to work with Plymouth City Council, the MoJ, and now the Home Office, to deliver a significant level of funding that will support people so hopefully those feeling the pain and suffering caused by this crime can feel safe and secure in this neighbourhood once again.”
Sutton and Devonport MP Luke Pollard made the case for the funding in the House of Commons. He said: “It has been over three months since the shooting in Keyham. I want to pay tribute to the way our community has stepped up and supported one another.
"This new grant from the Home Office to help fund more police and safety measures is very welcome and sorely needed. I'm pleased that all of us in Plymouth have come together to successfully make this case for this.
"The tragic murder of Bobbi-Anne has devastated our city and for those in Keyham and Ford it has brought back painful memories of the tragedy only three months ago. Our city is hurting and we need to continue standing together and looking after one another."
Plymouth City Council leader Nick Kelly said: “This money will be directly invested into policing and community safety and will go some way to helping reassure residents that Keyham, Ford and the surrounding areas are safe places. There will be more police on the streets and a range of improvements including better street lighting, CCTV and home security.
“A few months ago the community suffered an appalling event, from which it will take many years to heal, but together with our MPs and partners – including the OPCC and Devon and Cornwall Police – we have begun a programme of recovery that will support our resilient communities as we aim to ensure it is our response to this tragedy, not the tragedy itself, which defines us.”
Partners have set up a website, Plymouth Together, providing details on the support and help available, along with information on the Community Hub, fundraising and latest events in the area, as well as the action plan for the area’s recovery. Visit plymouthtogether.co.uk.