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Funding boost to combat violence and knife crime

Steve Turner, Mark Warrilow, and Alma Dennison at Flares nightclub

A key cash injunction will help boost safety and reduce violence in central Middlesbrough.

The funding follows a successful bid to CURV, Cleveland’s violence reduction partnership, to help boost the town’s night-time economy.

Against a backdrop of an overall rise in serious violent crime, incidents related to the night-time economy have seen a 66.5% rise since 2018-19.

The £61,500 grant through CURV includes £10,000 to provide and replace knife wands at licensed premises.

The money will be spent on a range of initiatives with a focus on tackling knife and alcohol-related crime.

This will be through awareness raising, crime prevention messages and measures to reduce the harm caused by incidents of serious violence and knife crime.

Pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, takeaways and taxis will also benefit from a potential increase in customers. This is as a result of a reduction in the fear of crime among the public and a decreased chance of them becoming victims of crime.

The new cash will help to extend the Boro Angels’ crackdown on drink spiking, promote the Night Time Economy Safety Campaign and provide training for licensees and door staff.

The team at the town’s CCTV control room will be increased at key times, while all of the town’s more than 50 licensed premises will be issued with at least two knife wands.

Councillor Tony Grainge, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Neighbourhood Safety, said: “The town centre is Middlesbrough’s engine room, and our night-time economy is vital to our future growth and prosperity.

“Visitors – and the staff who serve them – must have absolute confidence that they’ll be safe on a night out, and we work closely with all our licensed premises and a range of partners to make sure that’s the case.

“This welcome funding will further boost those efforts, and ensure Middlesbrough remains a major regional destination for leisure and recreation.”

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner said: “Middlesbrough is well known for its lively nightlife – and everyone wants that reputation to continue and grow.

“However, we also want the town centre to be safe for all visitors. We want people to spread the message that Middlesbrough is not just a good night out, but that they felt protected when they use its businesses.

“With similar investments being made in the other three areas of Cleveland, I’m confident we can significantly improve safety for those enjoying a night on the town.”