April 3, 2022 7.00 am

Guns and knives seized from Grimsby’s toughest streets in violent crime crackdown

The four-month pilot has now come to an end

By Local Democracy Reporter

Guns, axes, knives and baseball bats have been taken off the toughest streets in North East Lincolnshire through crime hotspot patrols.

Humberside Police spent an extra 1,700 hours patrolling problem areas in the past four months. A total of 26 arrests were made by officers during the trial, which was funded by a government initiative to crackdown on violent crime.

The pilot scheme saw dedicated officers patrolling a selection of 52 hotspots across the force area every day. The East and West Marsh were the main focus in Grimsby, along with parts of Immingham and the Frodingham Road area of Scunthorpe.

Police recovered 41 weapons, including two guns and 16 knives, as a result of stop-and-searches or weapons sweeps. And 15 vehicles were also seized.

Officers carried out 14 short patrols of randomly chosen hotspots each day. Their familiarity with the patch is intended to make it easier to look for weapons, engage with residents and search people acting suspiciously.

The trial ran between December and March. It has now concluded, but police are keen to start the patrols again in future.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service joined PCs Chloe Krebs and Dylan Giles on a patrol around the Weelsby Road area in Grimsby. Within a few minutes, officers found an abandoned knife down an alley and stopped an anti-social motorbike rider.

Police say the regular patrols have led to a drop in both serious crime and low-level issues like anti-social behaviour, and also improved intelligence being gathered.

Chief Superintendent Wildbore said: “We acknowledge the devastating impact that serious crime has on victims, families and the wider communities. We have run a four-month trial with support from the Home Office to undertake patrols across hotspots.

“We are patrolling 52 of those hotspots on a 15 to 20 minute basis every single day. The intention is to reduce violent crime. This methodology has been identified in other police forces and it has been quite fruitful in reducing crime overall.

“There have been really good results this far. We have had 26 arrests as a result of hotspot patrolling, 416 intelligence reports, 1275 weapon sweeps, and recovered 39 weapons.

“This is hopefully making a real difference to the areas. These are high-density areas where we have violent crime. We won’t to have the most impact we can have with these additional resources.”

Over the past four months, officers have carried out 117 stop and searches. A total of 32 people were either arrested, given a formal warning or caution, or sent straight to court.

Officers also issued 74 traffic offence reports in hotspots across the trial.