The Nottingham City area has seen success in reducing knife crime, with a large decrease of 18.9% in the last year, according to latest police figures.
The reduction is part of an 8.7% overall across Nottinghamshire in the last year, following ongoing activity between partner organisations including the City Council, Nottinghamshire Police, voluntary organisations and local communities.
This includes a series of proactive policing operations, the reintroduction of Schools and Early Intervention Officers to secondary schools and a bespoke new programme for all primary schools, as well as the continued focus by the dedicated Knife Crime Team to enforce against knife crime.
A recent knife amnesty and week of action by Notts Police took more than 1,000 knives out of circulation and over the last year nearly 5,000 Year 6 city pupils received programmes to help them to understand the impact and consequences of involvement with gangs or carrying a knife.
A new Violence Reduction Unit has been established involving partner organisations to help continue tackling the issue.
City Council Leader Cllr David Mellen said: “I share people’s concern about knife crime in our city – one incident where a knife is used is one too many. But I want to reassure people that our collective efforts with Nottinghamshire Police, the voluntary sector and our local communities are having an effect – latest figures from the police show that over the past year we have thankfully seen an 18.9% reduction in the number of incidents, not an increase, even though it might not always feel like that.
“We will carry on doing what we’re doing, because it’s working. With our partners we are getting better at identifying people who might be most at risk of knife crime and targeting our resources directly to them, and others around them who need support to avoid getting involved in violence themselves. We’re making sure all our school children understand the impact and consequences of involvement with gangs or carrying a knife, as well as targeting support with pupils who teachers are worried might be at risk.
“We can never be complacent because knife crime has a devastating impact on the victims and their families, on those carrying and using knives and their families, and on our wider communities. It’s a top priority for me, the council and our partners – we all have a part to play to continue to reduce and remove knife crime from our streets.”
Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “Nottingham is one of ten core cities and areas with higher population densities will naturally have higher levels of crime than rural boroughs for example. So to have such a big decrease in knife crime over the last year is really pleasing.
“We recognise that every knife crime is one too many and behind the statistics are real people and families – and we and are determined to continue the work we are doing along with partners and the community to reduce knife crime.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “Any reduction in serious violence and knife crime is to be welcomed. These figures are certainly a positive indication that the preventative work we are doing, including school-based education and family intervention, as well as robust enforcement, is making a difference to the safety of our communities.
“Every victim of knife crime is one too many. We have a long way to go but we are moving in the right direction.”