THE Government has given Hampshire police a seven-figure grant to help the battle against serious crime.

Hampshire Police will receive £1.26 million from £100 million Serious Violence Fund.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that £12.4 million will be distributed to 18 forces dealing with high levels of violent crime, including Hampshire Police.

It comes after £51 million was announced for the forces before Easter for additional officer deployments, improved intelligence, and short-term operational actions such as targeting habitual knife carriers.

The announcement comes ahead of the first meeting of a new Ministerial Taskforce on Serious Youth Violence, chaired by the Prime Minister, in Downing Street yesterday.

Mr Javid said: “I’ve been doing everything in my power to ensure we have the strongest possible response to tackle violent crime - and law enforcement plays a key role in this.

“This money means forces can take urgent action, including more officers on duty in the worst affected areas.

“It takes a collective effort to tackle violent crime and I’ll continue to work closely with police and partners to end this senseless bloodshed.”

The ministerial meetings focus specifically on improving the coordination of the government’s response and are designed to complement the existing Serious Violence Taskforce. This taskforce is chaired by the Home Secretary to bring together politicians from across parties, law enforcement and other agencies, regularly on this issue.

The taskforce will be supported by a new Serious Violence Reduction Team that will drive forward work to make sure every part of the government system intervenes earlier to protect young people from violence.

The 18 forces in the worst affected areas of violent crime will now benefit from a larger share of the £100 million funding.

The announcement means Hampshire Police will benefit from an extra £1.26 million surge funding to tackle serious violence. This is on top of the £339.2 million the force is receiving as a result of the Police Funding Settlement for 2019/20, including council tax – an increase of £25.1 million from last year. The boost coincides with the force’s plans to recruit an additional 200 officers to bolster the front line in the fight against crime.

Around a third of the funding - £35 million - will support the setting up of violence reduction units (VRUs) and other preventative activity across the country. VRUs are a multi-agency approach bringing together police, health agencies, local government, and community representatives to tackle violent crime and its underlying causes.

Another £1.6 million is being spent on ensuring forces collect better data to help their planning and ensure targeted action.

The funding comes after new figures showing that stabbings of under-25s have reduced by 15 per cent in London, which the Metropolitan Police attributes to an increase in the use of stop and search and a “massive law enforcement effort”.