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Public intelligence "vital" to preventing knife violence, says PCC

Knife crime PCC with Sgt Heather Sutton

PCC Paddy Tipping and Sgt Heather Sutton of the Proactive Knife Crime Team

Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping met specialist officers at the forefront of the county’s fight against knife crime as he backed a national campaign. 

In support of Operation Sceptre – a national week-long (May 1-7) campaign against knife crime and those who carry knives – Commissioner Tipping visited Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated Knife Crime Unit to find out first-hand how targeted police work and community intelligence is helping to reduce the harm caused by knives across the county.

The week-long campaign saw a host of anti-knife crime activities taking places across the country from weapons sweeps and test purchases through to targeted stop searches and educational awareness work in schools.

Nottinghamshire is one of the only forces in the country to establish a dedicated Knife Crime Team to proactively tackle knife crime.

Comprising both uniformed and plain-clothed police officers, the team uses intelligence-led tactics to target those they suspect are carrying knives. They also work closely with other agencies to safeguard victims of knife crime in hospital who are reluctant to report their injuries to police and deliver diversionary and prevention work relating to the activities of habitual knife carriers in the City.   

The team has achieved significant success with a 51% positive result rate of stop and searches about double the national figure.

Speaking after his visit, Mr Tipping said: “I’m really proud of this fantastic resource which is getting to the root causes of knife crime and taking proactive, positive action to combat it. Our dedicated Knife Crime officers not only utilise the full arm of the law in their preventative work but also work with safety partners to resolve the problems and psychological factors which drive people to carry a knife in the first place, challenging long-held attitudes.

“Nottinghamshire and the City remain a safe place to live and visit, highlighted by the seventh consecutive Purple Flag accreditation for the City. However knife crime presents a problem here as it does across the country and it is something that warrants robust action. 

“Public information is a vital resource in helping police to tackle knife crime. Knife possession remains largely unreported and without public intelligence gathered within our communities, the job of removing dangerous weapons from our streets and preventing serious injury is considerably more difficult.

“Please, if you suspect someone of carrying a knife, contact the police or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.” 

In support of the Team’s work, the PCC has backed projects which aim to re-engage with offenders and vulnerable people who feel disenfranchised from society and are at risk of becoming a perpetrator or victim of knife crime.

He is also committed to educational strategies that expose the dangers and risks of carrying weapons and help vulnerable young people who live in fear of persecution.

“Knife crime levels are relatively low in real terms but every incident of possession or violence is one to many. Knives destroy more than just a life; the impact of carrying a knife will be felt by families and communities,” warned Mr Tipping.

“Carrying a knife carries serious consequences. Those who carry a bladed weapon are at greater risk of that same weapon being used on themselves. The message to anyone tempted to carry a knife whether for protection, retribution or otherwise is clear: don’t do it because you will be caught.” 

ENDS

Media Enquiries:  Sallie Blair 01283 821012

Photograph shows PCC Paddy Tipping and Sgt Heather Sutton of the Proactive Knife Crime Team

Posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
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