A programme of targeted activity to prevent violent crime is underway across the region, following significant reductions of up to 37% from similar plans put in place during the summer months.

This activity resulted in areas of South Tyneside seeing the largest drop in serious violence following increased efforts to identify young people at risk, and engage them in diversionary activities to deter them from crime.

In Sunderland, additional resource provided an extra 300 hours of policing patrols to carry out dispersal orders, stop and searches and respond to safeguarding concerns to keep people safe.

Having already embedded this targeted approach in its strategy for driving down violent crime, the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit is working closely with Northumbria Police and the regions six Community Safety Partnerships, ensuring preventative measures are in place to make communities safer this winter.

The programme features a range of initiatives aimed at disrupting violent offenders and improving feelings of safety, including:

  • Deploying uniformed police officers and community safety staff in targeted locations to increase visibility.
  • Utilising enforcement action where needed such as arrests, dispersal orders and stop and searches.
  • Taxi marshals in operation to increase public reassurance and reduce disorder.
  • Diversionary activities to engage young people such as a range of sports initiatives to improve physical and mental health.

This increased action will be will be carried out throughout the winter period as everyone looks to enjoy the many events, nights out and festive celebrations that are set to take place in towns and cities across the region.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness said: “This proactive initiative allows us to get ahead of problems by identifying and engaging with those at risk of violent crime. It also places a stark warning to offenders that we will not tolerate violence – and the best thing about this approach is that we know it works.”

“We have seen the significant impact it has made over the summer, but there is still so much more to do. That’s why the Violence Reduction Unit, Northumbria Police and our partners have expanded on this crucial work, by putting together a programme of targeted activity and support in areas of most need, to drive down winter violence.”

She added: “I’ve said it before, but I will say it again, violence does not belong in our communities. So, I hope that by seeing this work in action, it will provide some reassurance that we will continue to do all we can do tackle violent crime.”

Cllr Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: “This is an excellent example of partners working collaboratively, and the significant reduction in violent crime over the summer is testament to the fact that this kind of proactive, preventative approach is effective.”

“Violent crime can have a devastating impact on victims, their families and our communities. We want everyone to feel safe in our borough so will continue to work alongside our partners to protect our residents and drive down crime.”

Funded through the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit’s Seasonal Violence Fund, this approach brings together a range of key partners including police, local authorities and youth organisations, working collaboratively to tackle violent crime and create safer communities.

For more information about the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit, visit the website.