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Money for hot-spots, county lines

A £25m fund to tackle burglary, theft and other offences in crime hotspots has been announced by the Home Office. Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales will be able to bid for Safer Streets Fund money to spend on preventing acquisitive crime in disproportionately affected areas.

Work could target vehicle theft, robbery or burglary, among other crimes, and could include interventions to improve home security, such as installing better locks and gating alleyways, and make streets better lit at night. Funding will be available to areas from April 2020.

Separately, the Home Office announced £20m more to tackle ‘county lines’ drug dealing gangs. The National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) – jointly led by the National Crime Agency and the National Police Chiefs’ Council, funded centrally by the Home Office – was created in September 2018.

Rail remains a key method of transportation for county lines gangs, say police. British Transport Police (BTP) teams that work exclusively on county lines will be based at railway stations across England known as key hubs for county lines drug trafficking.

Nikki Holland, National Crime Agency (NCA) County Lines lead and Director of Investigations, said: “Thanks to the dedication of law enforcement officers over the past year since the centre launched, we have been able to target County Lines networks in a coordinated way like never before – taking huge numbers of drugs and weapons off the streets and safeguarding those most vulnerable.

“Our understanding of County Lines is now better than ever before and, along with our law enforcement partners, we have successfully pursued County Lines offenders who are exploiting young people and dominating communities.

“In the first year of the NCLCC we have made significant progress, however, there is more to be done to make sure that County Lines crime does not pay and we will continue to work with our partners to tackle those causing untold misery in our communities.”

For more, visit the NCA website.


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