Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed the announcement of extra funding from the Government to help with the serious issue of knife crime in South Yorkshire.

The announcement by the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond on Wednesday, 13 March, pledged an additional £100 million funding to seven police forces across the UK of which South Yorkshire is one.

Dr Billings said: “Although knife crimes actually fell in South Yorkshire in 2018, additional funding from the Government is always welcome.

“The bid from South Yorkshire police will enable them to undertake some very focused activity targeting criminal gangs and those who are known to carry knives. This is a short-term measure that will result in a considerable disruption of drug dealing gangs and fits in with our overall and long term strategy of reducing serious and violent crimes.

“Longer term we are also redoubling our work with schools and young people. We want to emphasise to young people that if they carry a knife, they are more likely to be hurt themselves and they are more likely to be caught in South Yorkshire than in some other parts of the country.

“We are focusing long term on preventive work, getting upstream before crime happens.  This is why we will be working with partners – the local authorities, the voluntary sector, the NHS.

“South Yorkshire was recently awarded £500k from the Early Intervention Youth Fund for this work.

“My YOYO initiative also visits schools at no cost to the school. Young people produce podcasts and videos while researching topics such as gangs, drugs and knife crimes, and the links between them.”