HAMPSHIRE is to receive some of the £4.8m being made available to help young people becoming involved in violent crime.

The Home Office has announced that funding will be allocated to Violence Reduction Units in the south east via Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Hampshire police force area will receive up to £800,000.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Violence Reduction Units bring together organisations across local communities to tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes.

"They also help fund vital local projects that work to prevent children and young people from being drawn into serious violence.

"The funding, which is for 2021/22, marks the third year of funding for 18 units across England and Wales in areas worst affected by serious violence.

"This takes the total invested nationally to £105.5 million and further delivers on the government’s pledge to crack down on violent crime."

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse added: “We are committed to tackling crime in our communities and stopping young lives being shattered by violence.

“Violence Reduction Units in the south east are a key part of this, bringing together local leaders in health, education, police and other agencies to address the root causes of serious violence.

“This funding will allow the vital long-term work they have already started to continue, in order to get a grip on this crucial issue and drive down violent crime.”

Violence Reduction Units were set up in the summer of 2019.

The Hampshire unit has provided phone counselling to young people with low self-esteem, a therapeutic allotment gardening project for young people at risk of being excluded from school and early help and prevention work with families and young people at risk of criminal exploitation.

In addition to the new funding more than £2m is being made available nationally via a winter contingency fund package.

"The money is being delivered through Violence Reduction Units to local charities and social enterprises that support vulnerable young people at risk of involvement in violence through the lockdown period.

The money forms part of a wider government drive to tackle crime and make communities safer.

The Home Office says steps taken to address the issue include bringing in an extra 20,000 police officers over the next three years.

More than 6,600 of the officers have already been recruited.