Thames Valley Police says knife crime is down ahead of action week

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The force is carrying out a week of action, education and awareness-raising in regards to knife crime

Thames Valley Police says the number of reported knife crimes has declined in the area over the past 12 months.

Ahead of a week of action, raising awareness of the dangers of bladed weapons, Thames Valley Police has revealed knife crime is down by four per cent.

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Figures released by the police today (13 November) show that 1,186 offences were recorded between 1 October 2022 and 31 October 2023, 55 fewer incidents than were tallied over the same period a year ago.

Amnesty bins can be accessed in the Thames Valley all year roundAmnesty bins can be accessed in the Thames Valley all year round
Amnesty bins can be accessed in the Thames Valley all year round

New data has been released by the police force to coincide with Operation Sceptre, a national week of action, education and awareness-raising to tackle knife crime and violence.

Thames Valley Police says its emphasis is on educating and intervening early to stop youngsters getting involved in knife crime. Whilst also taking a proactive approach to punishing offenders who use knives.

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The Thames Valley is one of 20 areas with a Home Office-funded Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), a partnership of all local councils, police, fire, education, health and community groups.

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Thames Valley Police adds that the VRU funds early intervention projects, including access to sport, support offered in A&E and police custody, one-to-one mentoring in schools and education packages.

The force says tackling knife crime remains a priority, it aims to target known knife carriers and those engaged in other associated crime such as drug dealing.

Police are using a new mobile app which deploys officers to hotspot areas. Across 97 identified hotspots for violence, officers delivered over 23,000 additional high-visibility patrols in the past 12 months, Thames Valley Police revealed.

Thames Valley Police continues to use stop and search tactics, hotspot policing, and patrol in the night-time economy, to discourage knife crime.

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Knife amnesty bins are permanently in place across the Thames Valley and are being promoted as part of Operation Sceptre.

Jules Bottazzi, Head of the Thames Valley VRU said: “Tackling knife crime and creating safer communities is a shared priority and the Violence Reduction Unit provides leadership and coordination as all our partners work together.

“Our approach recognises that we need to place equal importance on education and preventing those vulnerable to crime getting involved in the first place.

“Operation Sceptre allows us to raise awareness of this important work and we ask all our communities to join us. We need parents, community leaders, young people, to work together so that we tackle the fear, provide trusted role models, encourage young people to ask for help and turn away from violence or carrying a knife.

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“If you are worried, talk to someone, anyone you trust. Because carrying a knife is never going to make you safer.”

If you have any information concerning someone who may carry a knife – contact the police by calling 101, or if it is an emergency call 999. More information is available on the force’s website here.

Superintendent Lewis Prescott-Mayling, force strategic lead for violence reduction, Thames Valley Police, said: “Knife crime and violence reduction are a priority for Thames Valley Police and the latest results show that our approach is having an effect, with knife crime continuing to fall over the force area."