Nottinghamshire Police to use social media to influence youngsters to put down the knife

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire's Police and Crime Commissioner today revealed plans to tackle knife crime across the county.
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire's Police and Crime Commissioner today revealed plans to tackle knife crime across the county.

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire's Police and Crime Commissioner today revealed plans to tackle knife crime across the county.

As knife crime is on the rise across the UK, Nottinghamshire police is only the second force in the UK to have a dedicated knife team.

Nottinghamshire has seen an upward trend in violent knife crime, and this last year has seen an increase of 11 percent.

Half of knife crimes occur in public places, with 59 percent being street robberies.

The police have identified that 69 per cent of offenders are 25 or younger, and 25 per cent are under 18.

To tackle this, the knife crime strategy will target young people using social media, and placing early intervention officers in secondary schools.

Nottinghamshire police will also bid for a slice of £200 million Home Office funding for targeted youth support and social media influencers.

Youth workers will also be placed in hospitals to encourage young people affected by knife crime to turn their life around.

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire's police and crime commissioner said: "There is a problem right across the county including Mansfield, which is an important centre in Nottingham

"There are two kinds of knife crime that happen in Mansfield, on the street knife crime involving mainly young people, but is more prelevant in domestic violence situations.

"All secondary schools in Mansfield will have a police officer going in on a regular basis, building relationships with young people which is really important.

"It costs us a quarter of a million pounds per year but it's the right thing to do.

"It won't turn things around overnight but we're on the case.

"There are problems all over the country, We don't have the scale of problems as say London, but we do have a problem we need to tackle, an I'm very clear that we need to put extra resources into this.

"We are one of the few forces in the country that has got a dedicated knife crime manager, and we're the only force outside of London that has a designated knife crime team."

"We're putting extra resources into this but this is something that's wider than the police.

"Knife crime poses a serious risk to young people today and it is imperative we act now to break down the false attitudes and ideas that convince some that violence is acceptable.

"Offenders need to respect the repercussions of carrying a knife in a public place which is why this strategy will involve robust enforcement, especially in our pubs and nightclubs. But they also need to be supported and encouraged to take a new direction and lead more productive lives which this strategy will also deliver.

"We all have a role to play, not just the agencies signed up to this strategy, and we will be making sure parents, youth workers, charities and the wider community understand their responsibilities fully and play a pivotal role in solving this national problem locally."

"This isn't going to be easy, and It's about tackling this together."

The strategy also lays out plans for hardening public spaces, making it tougher of offenders to get away with carrying knives, and identify those at risk of committing knife crime, and intervening early.

A zero-tolerance approach will be applied, where knife carriers will be arrested and charged.

Nottinghamshire Police's Chief Constable, Craig Guilford said: "It's all about long term prevention, instead of finger pointing we want to influence young people, which is why we have placed early intervention officers in all secondary schools in Mansfield.

Ian Curryer, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, said: "Clearly, a national approach is needed to what is a major issue for the country as a whole. However, it's vital that here in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, agencies come together to look at what can be done at a local level.

"Taking a proactive approach to tackling knife crime has already led to ground-breaking initiatives in Nottingham such as the Red Thread intervention programme working with young victims of violence at the QMC.

Anthony May, Chairman of the Safer Nottinghamshire Board, said: "All the partners within the Safer Nottinghamshire Board stand shoulder-to-shoulder in our commitment to tackling knife crime - addressing its causes, dealing with its perpetrators and supporting its victims. We very much welcome this ambitious new strategy and look forward to delivering it for our communities.

"We have no higher duty than to protect the people we serve. We will ensure that our organisations work closely together, not only to respond to the immediate threat of knife crime, but also to build resilient communities and neighbourhoods in which our residents and businesses can continue to thrive."

"This new strategy sets out what more could be done through the local agencies working together with individuals, families and communities to significantly reduce the risk of lives being blighted by knife crime."