Almost 1,000 reports of violent incidents were reported across Barnsley in 2018, police figures show, accounting for 23.9 per cent of overall crime reports received by officers.
A Home Office grant of £2.58m will be spent over the next 12 months on ‘surge’ operations to make sure violent criminals face tougher enforcement action.
Some money will go on overtime for officers to bolster specific tasks but the 25-strong team - headed by an inspector - has been put together to conduct day-to-day operations.
Eight men were arrested during a 24-hour clampdown earlier this month with weapons including knives and knuckle-dusters being seized, as well as ‘large quantities’ of cash and drugs.
Chief Inspector Vicky Short said: “I am extremely pleased with the results following the team’s first day of action in Barnsley.
“Since our launch, officers have been working incredibly hard to make the town a safer place to visit, live and work. We are committed to tackling violent crime and continue to urge the public to help us on our journey.
“If you have any information or concerns please report them to 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
The cash, the Chronicle can reveal, will go towards hotspot areas where violent crime such as two-in-one burglaries have taken place in on-the-border communities such as Penistone, Royston and Shafton where criminals have exploited the police’s boundaries.
However, both South and West Yorkshire forces are working together in light of the spate, particularly targeting an alleged group of masked burglars who have used force in order to steal high-value cars in recent months.
Sgt Dave Baines, who heads up the Royston-based policing team, told the Chronicle: “We’re undertaking an intelligence-gathering plan as a lot of two-in-one burglaries have taken place. We’re working alongside West Yorkshire Police as several stolen vehicles have been recovered in their patch, albeit wearing false plates.
“The people responsible have no fear and they’re challenging, they’re wearing masks and in some cases carrying baseball bats. It’s important we get the message out that we’re working on the West Yorkshire corridor as it appears they’re coming into Barnsley and making use of the country lanes.
“Unfortunately we live right on that border and there’s been confusion over which force residents can contact because of that, but we’re both on the same page and want to reassure residents that we’re working hard on stopping these incidents from happening.”
- NINE vehicles were stopped during the new team’s first day of action, according to the police.
Eight men were arrested, including a wanted man who had evaded capture for more than three months.
- A 22-year-old man from Barnsley was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply. Officers stopped his vehicle and found a significant amount of money and a quantity of suspected cannabis.
- A 27-year-old man from Barnsley was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply after a large amount of suspected cannabis was found in his car.
- An 18-year-old man from Bolton-upon-Dearne and a 17-year-old-boy from the Dearne were arrested for possession of an offensive weapon after two knuckle-duster weapons were found in a car. Both men have been released under investigation.
- A 17-year-old from the Dearne was arrested for driving while over the prescribed limit and possession of an offensive weapon. Officers believe he was under the influence of cannabis while driving. The man has been released under investigation.
- A 19-year-old man from Barnsley was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon and controlled drug. Officers searched the vehicle and found two knuckle-dusters. The man has since been released under investigation.
- A 40-year-old man, of no fixed abode, was arrested on suspicion of theft.
Officers found the man unconscious in Barnsley and following a search found ten pairs of glasses that are believed to be stolen from a local business.