One of Hampshire’s police bosses has vowed to keep investing in education after figures showed Southampton has one of the highest levels of violence in the UK.

A new study from security firm Get Licenced has revealed that Southampton has the ninth highest amount of violent crime when compared to population in the country.

Home Office stats show that in the year to March 2023, there were 14,555 violent crimes committed in the city.

Comparing this with the city’s population, the study revealed that there were 588.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents in that year.

The statistics have now prompted the county’s crime boss to reaffirm her commitment to tackling violent crime, vowing to invest in intervention.

READ MORE: Southampton: Concern as violent crime increases

Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones said: “Until we see significant reductions in these crimes I will continue investment in education and early intervention programmes designed to make young people aware of the significant dangers of being a gang member, carrying a knife and taking and selling drugs.

“Serious violence is a serious issue across the country with young people becoming embroiled in more complex and serious crimes from as young as 12 and 13 years of age. This is a major concern especially in bigger cities.

“Thanks to Home Office funding I have a Violence Reduction Unit that operates across Hampshire & the Isle of Wight that brings together partners in policing, education, health and local government. It’s only by working together we can prevent and reduce serious violence.”

The commissioner added that “too many opportunities are missed” in childhood to prevent violent crime, adding that Southampton has a violent crime task force focussed on reducing this offending.

Southampton fared worse than nearby Portsmouth in the study which had 583.9 violent crimes per 10,000 residents and came in tenth.

The areas with the highest violent crime levels were Blackpool, Middlesbrough and Thanet.

READ MORE: Southampton: Thousands of violent and sexual crimes reported

Safer City boss at the city council, Cllr Matt Renyard said the authority takes its role in tackling violence “very seriously” and is “a lead authority within the region”.

He added: “However, with this ultimately being a policing matter it again raises the question of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary underfunding compared with other Police authorities.

“Here we see both largest metropolitan areas Southampton and Portsmouth in the top ten.

“I have raised this on numerous occasions with the Police and Crime Commissioner, and with the Home Office quite simply we need much fairer funding in Hampshire and a fairer share of the resources in our two largest cities.”

But Tory leader on the council, Cllr Daniel Fitzhenry backed the crime boss saying: “As the largest city in county, Southampton has always had a higher crime level locally, which is why our Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones has been making Southampton a priority.

He said the commissioner has been “providing extra police officers and funding to combat violent crime.

“Only this week it was announced more funds are coming for additional CCTV for Shirley and Portswood areas.

“Donna has also been allocating hundreds of thousands of pounds of support to Southampton to combat specifically violence against women and girls and domestic violence.

“What isn’t helpful is the continual cuts by the Labour council into front line services, specifically switching off the street lights across the city making residents feel less safe at a time the Labour council should be doing more to protect our residents.”

Nine of the ten areas with the highest number of violent crime by population were in England.

The only other was Denbighshire in Wales.