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Police crack down on antisocial behaviour and serious violence with additional hotspot patrols 

More than 800 hours of police patrols across Devon and Cornwall have resulted in 21 arrests in the first month of a scheme funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez to crack down on serious violence and antisocial behaviour (ASB). 

Police crack down on antisocial behaviour and serious violence with additional hotspot patrols 

Devon & Cornwall Police officers on a hotspot patrol in Exeter City Centre

Hotspot policing, which forms part of a wider Street Focus project run by the Commissioner’s office, is tackling ASB and serious violence in Devon and Cornwall.  

Commissioner Hernandez secured £1 million of Home Office funding for the project to deliver additional police and uniformed community patrols. Multiple locations across 13 towns and cities have been identified as hotspots using crime data. A further £200,000 in funding from the Commissioner will help to maximise the number of partner patrols across Devon and Cornwall. 

In its first month, the project delivered 816 additional hours of police patrols across Barnstaple, Exeter, Newquay, Plymouth, Torquay and Truro. The patrols aim to provide a reassuring presence to help people feel safe while also proactively disrupting crime and acting as a deterrent. In May, police officers and public community support officers engaged with just under 3,000 individuals while out on patrol. They also attended 130 incidents of ASB and had 103 cases of proactive policing, including 21 arrests.  

Chief Inspector Tim Evans, who heads up the project, said: “Hotspot policing enables us to deliver impactful community engagement and high visibility patrols in the areas we are needed most. This targeted approach is proven to be effective in tackling ASB and serious violence, helping to create safer communities.  

“The neighbourhood policing teams have already reported varied shifts which have included dealing with criminality in the town and city centres, dispersing those causing ASB, assisting with welfare matters and also providing emergency first aid. This demonstrates how police foot patrols in the right areas contribute to making a wider difference.” 

Commissioner Hernandez said: “High visibility policing is what our communities want and we know it works. ASB is a key concern for people across the peninsula, so I am pleased to see the positive impact these patrols are already making. Not only are we deterring crime but delivering a reassuring presence to our residents and businesses. The commitment from our partners with the addition of street wardens and marshals will further strengthen our united front against ASB and serious violence.”  

Members of the public and businesses have welcomed seeing police out on foot in their area. Officers were also able to speak to members of the homeless community while out on patrol and signpost them towards support agencies.  

In the coming weeks, uniformed community patrols will commence in partnership with councils.  

The Street Focus initiative is led by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and works with a number of partners including local authorities to tackle issues in the community. You can find out more at street-focus.co.uk