Knife crime reduced by 8.7 per cent in Nottinghamshire in the last year, new statistics have revealed.
The reduction follows a series of proactive policing operations, the reintroduction of schools and early intervention officers to secondary schools across the county 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.
It also comes as the force works alongside partners and the community on interventions and actions including knife amnesties, with the latest knife amnesty and week of action taking more than 1,000 knives out of circulation.
In total, offences fell from 882 to 805 in the 12 months to the end of September 2019.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: "This is a fantastic result and is testament to the hard work that Nottinghamshire Police and our partners have been doing to turn the tide of knife crime.
"Nottinghamshire Police treats knife crime extremely seriously and has a track record of investing resources in tackling the issue.
"We have a dedicated knife crime team who have a high positive outcome rate from stop and search activity because of their intelligence-led approach.
"We also invest in efforts to prevent knife crime by educating young people. Our schools and early intervention officers visit schools across the county to deliver knife crime education.
"The new Dare 25 education package has also been launched recently to strength this offer even further.
"A recent knife amnesty and week of action led to more than 1,000 weapons being taken out of circulation and highlighted some of the work we do all year round with partners and the communities we serve to tackle knife crime.
"While figures show that our hard work appears to be paying off, it is important now that we continue this work and aim to reduce knife crime even further - and we are absolutely committed to doing that.
"The good news is we recently received a £1.5m funding boost from the Government to tackle knife crime and the benefits of that spending will continue into next year, whilst we have also received funding to establish a Violence Reduction Unit with our partners and this is now getting up and running."
The number of stop and searches carried out in Nottinghamshire has also risen, partly because of the force’s targeted campaign to tackle knife crime.
There were 3,023 stop and searches in 2018-19 - an increase of 58 per cent from the year before, when there were 1,908.
More than half of the searches (54.4 percent) resulted in further action being taken, with 15.4 percent of people arrested on the spot.
The Nottingham City area has seen particular success in reducing knife crime, with a large decrease of 18.9 per cent in the last year.
Proactive policing such as Operation Guardian and Operation Relentless have helped this reduction. Operation Guardian, which involves patrols with a passive drugs dog, and Operation Relentless, which is a team of plain-clothed police officers operating in the city centre, are aimed at tackling drugs and associated violence.
Chief Constable Guildford added: "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.
“However, we must not become complacent, this must be sustained in the long-term through continued national funding so many more young people are supported to make positive lifestyle choices that will help steer them away from high risk friendships and behaviour.
“Every victim of knife crime is one too many. We have a long way to go but we are moving in the right direction.”