Last week saw new positive and proactive action by the police against knife crime in the town centre, writes Ben Bradley MP.
There have been some challenges recently and high profile incidents, ranging from persistent anti-social behaviour to a violent attack on a young boy back in October.
It’s good to see the police taking a positive approach to tackling these problems.
If we go back to this time last year, when the mamba and spice issues were at their height and I was receiving complaints every single day about people’s experiences of visiting town, I think it’s important to recognise the progress that has been made by the police and by local authorities.
A long summer of specific and targeted work followed those problems last year, and the number of incidents reduced significantly.
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Though drugs are most certainly still a problem, the situation has certainly come a long way since then and those organisations deserve credit for that.
Last week the police brought their ‘knife arch’ in to town to demonstrate and engage with the public, as well as using the scanner and drugs dogs effectively to apprehend a number of people, including arresting one man for carrying a knife.
It’s positive to see results, as well as having that visible police presence on our high street talking to the public.
I understand that the ‘arch’ scanner was also used to vet access to nightclubs in the evening, acting as both a deterrent and a reassurance to law abiding members of the public.
Nottinghamshire set up a knife crime unit in 2016, the only one outside of London, to challenge this issue and has also invested in education, with new officers working in county schools.
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That proactive intervention and approach is really positive, and I hope it can be carried forward to continue to reduce levels of crime on the streets.
Everyone should feel safe in the town centre, and whilst there is still a way to go to fulfil the great potential it has, I want to highlight this progress and praise the police and the council for the approach they’ve taken.