Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has pledged to do all he can to tackle knife crime in the county.
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has this week published “Serious Violence in Focus” to highlight a series of initiatives that PCCs have commissioned to tackle the scourge of violent crime across England and Wales.
And whilst Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said the county remains a safe place to live, today (22nd March) he taking the opportunity to reassure local people that everything possible is being done to keep communities safe from knife crime.
Mr Ablewhite said: “No one can have failed to read the devastating headlines over the past few months where far too many young people have become victims of gun and knife crime. In many of our bigger cities such as London, these incidents have an extremely detrimental impact on communities.
“Whilst our officers work hard to catch offenders and talk to young people about the dangers of carrying knives, I am committed to doing everything I can to help steer young people away from serious crime.
“I contribute more than £250k to the county’s Youth Offending Service and fund restorative justice approaches to help offenders see the impact of their crimes. Additionally, my Youth and Community Fund has enabled grassroots diversionary projects to get off the ground. From boxing clubs to projects helping care-leavers move into training, a host of projects has already benefitted from the funding.
“I want to reassure people living and working in Cambridgeshire that whilst possession of weapon offences increased in our county from 487 in 2017 to 527 in 2018, (a rise of 8.2%), these figures are below the national average.
“We can all do more to ensure our young people do not become victims of the potentially devastating consequences of carrying knives.”
A week-long amnesty held by Cambridgeshire Constabulary in February encouraged members of the public to hand in knives without prosecution. Part of a national initiative to tackle knife crime, Operation Sceptre also saw officers conducting extra patrols and speaking to young people about the dangers of carrying weapons.
Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can also report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.