Medics working on the frontline of dealing with the aftermath of violent crime have welcomed a £500,000 investment to help to tackle the problem.

The Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner secured the additional government funding to support the new Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence (CURV) as the force was dealing with some of the highest number of incidents in the country.

Latest figures show that the force handles more serious incidents per capita involving knives than the likes of Manchester, Liverpool and London.

Launching the cash boost at the accident and emergency unit at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital Tory PCC Steve Turner said the pot of money is open for groups and organisations to access to support victims of violent crime.

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The funding scheme is the first major announcement from the CURV partnership, which was established earlier this year after it was announced that Cleveland will receive £3.5m over the next three years for a violence reduction unit.

To mark the occasion Mr Turner visited the A&E department to hear first-hand what the impact of violent crime has on people.

Consultant vascular surgeon Barney Green welcomed the money being made available as he shared his experience of fighting to save the lives of knife-attack victims.

He said: “We deal with a knife injury every three days and if you include injuries caused by other sharp implements it is one incident every day and a half.

“Anything that is investing money in trying to address this problem is definitely to be welcomed. It is good that the money will be awarded to local groups and organisations because those are the people who will know where the money will be best spent.

“If the money helps to reduce violent crime it will deliver a benefit for the hospital as well as it will reduce the amount of time medical staff are working to potentially safe the live of someone involved in knife crime.

“We have got to start somewhere and this £500,000 is as good a way to start as any.”

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Mr Turner was taken on a tour of the A&E department ahead of the launch to see for himself the impact of violent crime.

He said: “For every violent crime that takes place, there is a ripple effect that impacts the victim and their families, the police, health services and the wider community.

“We must get ahead of this problem. It’s about creating safe spaces where at-risk individuals can be given to the tools to live a happy, positive life - rather than becoming involved in crime and using violence without a second thought.”

The CURV partnership is responsible for delivering a ‘whole system’, public health approach to tackling violence, bringing together key partners to identify the local drivers and root-causes of serious violence and agree and implement a multi-agency response to them.

The scheme is made up of representatives from children services, adult services, Cleveland Police, public health and the voluntary/community sector.

Applications must be submitted by 23:55 on Friday, August 26.

More details about the fund can be found here:

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