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Police ‘hotspot’ patrols to tackle ASB

by Jonathan Kearney

Merseyside Police will be using targeted hotspot policing patrols to tackle anti-social behaviour in Knowsley and across the region this summer.

Hotspot policing is a tactic whereby officers are more frequently deployed to an area for short periods of time to increase visibility and deter criminality. It is currently used by the force as a tactic for reducing serious violence, which has led to reductions in that area.

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Dave Uren, said: “More than 3,000 hours of targeted uniformed foot patrols contributed to a 29% decrease in serious violence last year, and we want to build on that success.

“People have reacted really positively to seeing a more frequent police presence in these areas, and I think, for anti-social behaviour, they’ll certainly be pleased to have more uniformed officers about across the school holidays and the summer.

“An important part of the anti-social behaviour hotspot policing, aside from deterring the behaviour just by being present in the area, is talking to the people who live there. Finding out the issues that matter to them and taking action.  If they’re experiencing behaviours which are disruptive or upsetting at a certain time of the day or night – that’s when we need to be there.  So officers talking to people and having those conversations is key to the success of hotspot policing.

“If we get nice weather, we want people to be out and enjoying it – but that means sharing public spaces in a safe and sensible way.  Sadly, a minority of individuals don’t do that, but hopefully our presence will make them consider their actions a little more carefully.”

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “The evidence shows that targeted hotspot policing can make a real difference, significantly reducing crime in areas which have previously been blighted.

“I welcome this proactive approach from Merseyside Police, providing that visible presence that people value so much and helping to prevent issues before they arise.

“Working with our Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, I’m focused on supporting this policing tactic through the launch of our new Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) which is offering cash grants to community groups to deliver projects providing safe, positive, activities for thousands of young people over the summer and beyond, helping to steer them away from behaviour which could become anti-social or criminal.”

Anti-social behaviour hotspot trials are taking place nationally until March 2025, with forces using their own data to deploy resources to high-demand areas.