Work­ing to­gether to stop surge in knife crime

Bristol Post - - COMMENT - With Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner Sue Mount stevens

LAST week I joined the Polic­ing and Fire Min­is­ter Nick Hurd MP for a Home Of­fice se­ri­ous vi­o­lence event in Bris­tol.

The Home Of­fice out­lined their strat­egy to or­gan­i­sa­tions across Bris­tol and the sur­round­ing ar­eas. It was also the op­por­tu­nity for me to speak to lo­cal part­ners about how im­por­tant an is­sue this is.

The is­sues we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in Bris­tol and the sur­round­ing ar­eas are no way on the scale of Lon­don. How­ever, knife crime like in many part of the coun­try is in­creas­ing. Be­tween 2016/17 and 2017/18 knife crimes in­creased by more than 50%. Dur­ing the past 12 months there has been 7,520 knife re­lated crimes in our area alone.

I be­lieve we must con­tinue to dis­man­tle the re­cruit­ment of vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple into ‘county lines’ drug gangs. It’s clear that this leads to an in­crease in knife-- crime and se­ri­ous vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing stab­bings and gan­gre­lated dis­or­der which must be tack­led and this will be the fo­cus of any new money raised from the polic­ing part of the coun­cil tax next year.

How­ever en­force­ment alone is not the an­swer. I was de­lighted to see Barnardo’s in Bris­tol, with the help of my of­fice, re­ceive nearly £500,000 to­wards di­vert­ing chil­dren and young peo­ple away from vi­o­lent crime. As part of the new ser­vice, en­gage­ment work­ers will work di­rectly with chil­dren and young peo­ple to of­fer con­flict res­o­lu­tions, me­di­a­tion, tai­lored in­ter­ven­tions and re­silience build­ing for fam­i­lies.

Knife crime dev­as­tates fam­i­lies and harms com­mu­ni­ties and sadly, too many young peo­ple be­lieve that car­ry­ing a knife will help pro­tect them from dan­ger. This is sim­ply not true. If you carry a knife, you are far more likely to end up be­ing in­jured, or worse still, los­ing your life.

We all need to work to­gether to help make our com­mu­ni­ties safer. If you’re con­cerned about some­one you know per­haps a friend, rel­a­tive or col­league you can pass on that in­for­ma­tion via the char­ity Crimestop­pers com­pletely anony­mously. In over 30 years of Crimestop­pers have al­ways kept their prom­ise to pro­tect ev­ery­one’s iden­tity. You can call free 0800 555 111 or go on­line crimestop­ They also have ded­i­cated young peo­ple’s web­site called Fear­ which is em­pow­er­ing young peo­ple to speak up about knife crime.

We all have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to help re­duce se­ri­ous vi­o­lent on our streets.

The cen­tre for jus­tice in­no­va­tion states re­duc­ing vi­o­lence is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of ev­ery­one.

For those in power, those in Gov­ern­ment and in the crim­i­nal jus­tice ser­vice but also for all of us in our schools, hos­pi­tals, arts, on our streets and in our homes.

» This week I had hoped to bring you news about the money polic­ing would re­ceive from the Gov­ern­ment next year. How­ever with all of the de­bate over Brexit the an­nounce­ment has been de­layed un­til next week.

There are a lot of ru­mours cir­cu­lat­ing on whether polic­ing will favour from a slightly im­proved po­si­tion to tackle all the cur­rent is­sues such as se­ri­ous vi­o­lence and se­ri­ous and or­gan­ised crime.

How­ever we will have to cross our fingers un­til the an­nounce­ment.

Dur­ing the past 12 months there has been 7,520 knife re­lated crimes in our area alone.

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