An extra £1 million is set to be spent on tackling violence and disorder in Wiltshire as part of new national funding.

The initiative led by the Home Office will give at least £1 million from the central government to each police force in England and Wiltshire in an attempt to bring down crime levels.

The news has been welcomed by Wiltshire Police senior staff, who say that tackling anti-social behaviour and violent crime is high on their agenda.

“This hotspot funding will make a positive difference in those areas most susceptible to antisocial behaviour and our communities will be safer as a result," said Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson.

“Tackling crimes that matter most to local communities is a clear priority in my Police and Crime Plan and I want our residents to feel safer.  

“While the overall trend for anti-social behaviour is heading down, I recognise there remains more to do, to meet the challenges our local communities have with violence and disorder head-on, and I will continue to focus on this issue as residents have told me how important it is to them.” 

The national push to bring down violent crime has already been piloted in 10 areas, with over 80,000 hours of patrols in the last six months.

This has led to nearly 600 arrests, close to 1,500 stop and searches and around 700 uses of anti-social behaviour powers such as community protection notices and public protection orders.

In Wiltshire, this additional funding will be spent on targeted areas where there is a high prevalence of violence, anti-social behaviour and illegal public drug consumption.

Officers say they hope to utilise the range of powers available to address anti-social behaviour, and better coordinate the multi-agency response to violent crime through the Community Safety Partnerships in Swindon and Wiltshire. 

“We welcome the recent Home Office announcement of further funding to help address issues of anti-social behaviour and related criminality,” added Phil Staynings, Head of Local Policing and the Neighbourhood Harm Reduction Unit.

“Such issues have been recognised as a key priority for the force by our Chief Constable Catherine Roper in her drive to ensure safer public spaces and tackle violent crime in the communities we serve.  

“We are determined to robustly address criminality on our streets and this funding will provide further valuable support to allow us to tackle these issues.”