Knife-crime team makes 400-plus arrests in a year in bid to protect Mansfield, Ashfield and rest of county
The work of Nottinghamshire Police’s knife crime teams resulted in 400-plus arrests last year and criminals being jailed more than 35 years behind bars in a bid to protect Mansfield, Ashfield and the rest of the county.
Their tireless efforts also brought about the removal of more than £440,000 in illegal drugs from the streets during 2021 – with drugs often going hand-in-hand with knife crime.
That success includes the seizure of 18.21 kilograms of cannabis, 1.19kg of cocaine and more than half a kilogram of heroin, along with other types of drugs.
In the last year, the knife crime teams arrested 439 people, as well as removing 174 dangerous weapons from the streets.
Their other successes include making 465 drug seizures, 299 vehicle seizures and reporting 363 people for summons.
Patrolling in police cars, unmarked cars, and on foot, team members are using all available tactics to catch knife and drug offenders.
And the force said their daily activity, including use of stop-and-search powers, is helping deter people from carrying blades in the first place, as well as providing reassurance to the public.
Superintendent Kathryn Craner, the force’s knife-crime lead, said: “These results reflect the everyday commitment of our knife crime teams to keeping people safe and reducing violent crime.
“The teams are making their presence felt on the front line by tackling criminality and stopping crime before it happens in the first place, as well as striving to bring dangerous knife offenders to justice.
“I hope the teams’ positive impact reassures people how seriously the force treats all reports of weapon-enabled violence and we will continue to work hard as an organisation to reduce the number of people carrying knives and help them understand the risks and potential consequences.”
Extra officers are being allocated to the specialist knife-crime teams, with investment giving them even more teeth to proactively combat knife crime in 2022.
Official national figures show knife crime has significantly reduced in Nottinghamshire in the last three years, falling by 25 per cent, including 10 per cent in the last year to June 2021.
The teams’ enforcement has helped drive that reduction by putting offenders behind bars and stopping them committing further crime.
Ms Craner said: “We understand the devastating consequences knife crime can have on people’s lives, which is why we continue to do everything we can to keep people safe and crack down on this issue.
“Carrying knives on our streets will not be tolerated and we will continue to use every tactic at our disposal to drive down knife crime. We are never complacent and our work continues every single day to protect the public and rid our streets of weapons
“This includes the ongoing hard work going into knife crime education and prevention, such as through our schools and early intervention officers, as well as through the positive work of the Violence Reduction Unit and others to prevent vulnerable young people from being drawn into criminality and give them support they need.”
Natalie Baker-Swift, interim head of Nottinghamshire Police’s violence reduction unit, said: “The work of the knife-crime teams is invaluable responding to the threat of serious violence on our streets here and now, creating the space for the VRU to work to tackle the causes of serious violence.
“While we have seen a reduction in knife crime in Nottinghamshire in the last three years. which is encouraging, we cannot be complacent and it is imperative we work toward long term, sustainable change for our communities and our young people.”