Police visit Mansfield and Ashfield schools in week of action to combat knife crime
Primary school children learned about the dangers of knife crime during a series of proactive visits by police officers.
As part of Operation Sceptre, a week of action on knife crime, officers from the Mansfield Neighbourhood Policing Team gave presentations to children at three local primary schools.
Over the course of the week PCSOs from the team visited Wainwright Primary in Harrop White Road, Intake Farm Primary in Ladybrook, and Sutton Road Primary.
Pupils aged nine to 11 were given a short Lives Not Knives presentation, and had the chance to ask questions of the officers.
PCSO Nicholas Wells explained: “Whilst it is extremely unlikely that children of this age would be involved in knife crime I really do think it’s important to get some basic messages across at an early age.
“What we want to do – in an age appropriate way – is to explain the dangers and the potential consequences of carrying knives. We want children to understand the terrible impact knives can do them, their friends and to their families.
“The feedback we had from the sessions was really positive and we had some really great questions form the children too. From our point of view we’ve really enjoyed doing it and look forward to visiting local schools again in person to talk about a range of important issues.”
Julian Fieldwick, head teacher at Intake Farm Primary School, said: “When the police approached us about delivering this session we really jumped the chance. The issue of knife crime is very much to the fore at the moment and I am very aware of the impact it can have on young people.
“Whilst the children involved here are only young, they will soon be going to secondary school and entering the big wide world where their exposure to these kind of issues will increase over time. This visit by the police was really about forewarning and equipping them with the knowledge to make the right choices in future.
“I also think that any proactive police involvement with schools is a good thing as it’s a chance for children to meet police officers in real life and learn more about the valuable work they do.”
Inspector Nick Butler, district commander for Mansfield, said: “We reached out to local schools some weeks ago and I am delighted that we’ve been invited in to talk about his really important issue.
“I have been a police officer for a very long time and have on occasion had to deal with the terrible aftermath of knife crime. That’s why we’ve been so proactive in other areas during this week of action. Other activities have included high visibility operations with our knife arch in the town centre, in Layton Burrows and in Titchfield Park.
“We also joined forces with Trading Standards to carry out a number of test purchases where under age children attempted to buy knives. I am delighted to say that on every occasion in Mansfield the shops refused to offer items for sale and did everything we would expected to keep people safe from harm.”
Local policing teams across Nottinghamshire have been engaged in numerous local operations and activities throughout the last week to reduce knife crime.