Knife Crime

Tue, Nov 17, 2009

Crime, news from westminster

9 June 2009


Crime and violent crime have fallen by a third in the last 10 years but we know that gun, gang and knife crime continues to devastate families, communities and neighbourhoods. That is why we remain fully committed to tackling gang culture, and gun and knife crime, through responsive policing, tough powers and funding for prevention projects.


According to the BCS the number of violent incidents has fallen by nearly half (48%) since 1995 representing an estimated 9 million fewer incidents. However, we are not complacent and fully accept that a good deal of work remains to be done if we are to prevent the acts of serious violence that continue to devastate our communities.


We are determined to get knives off our streets.  Through the Tackling Knives Action Programme we are working intensively in fifteen areas affected by knife crime as well as with the British Transport Police to reduce the number of knives on the streets.


We launched TKAP on 5 June 2008. In first 9 months we focused nearly £7M of resources on rapid, concentrated work in 13 areas of the country to tackle teenage knife crime.


In March 2009 we announced an extra £5 million to tackle knife crime and increase targeted police action to tackle a minority of young people who commit serious violence, regardless of the weapon involved. TKAP remit has also been extended to include 13 to 24 year olds.


We have so far provided 1,150 extra search arches and wands to police forces to take knives off the streets and reassure the public.


We have also doubled max prison sentence for possessing knife in public place to 4 years; increased min age to be sold a knife from 16 to 18 and introduced the expectation that anyone aged 16 and over caught in possession of knife will be prosecuted on the first offence.


But tough enforcement and policing is only one part of the solution.  Our approach on tackling knife crime is end to end, from prevention through to enforcement. That is why we are working closely with schools to educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives.


Police report that over 5,300 Safer School Partnerships now exist – dedicated police officers allocated to one or group of schools. This includes 3,800 primary schools (about 20%) and nearly 1,500 secondary schools (about 45%), plus PRUs, special schools, and FE colleges. 




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